Minnesota pop icon Prince became a worldwide phenomenon due to his new sounds and creative lyrics. He taught us all a lot, both through his music and his outspoken beliefs that artists should have full control over their music. And now, even in his death, Prince leaves behind one final life lesson for us all to pay heed to:
You need an estate plan.
This is true whether you are a multi-millionaire or a solopreneur with young children at home.
At last check, Prince’s estate was valued at nearly $300 million. Without a valid will in place, Prince’s heirs stand to only receive about $88 million—and they likely won’t see that money for years, as the probate process can take some time for an intestate estate (an estate with no will).
You can avoid many of these mistakes by taking it upon yourself to learn these estate planning lessons and then speaking with a lawyer.
4 Estate Planning Lessons Learned From Prince’s Passing
It is never too soon to create an estate plan. Prince died at the fairly young age of 57. An untimely death such as his is unexpected; prepare for the unexpected by speaking with an experienced estate planning lawyer now. A will, healthcare directive and other elements of an estate plan would help ensure that you take of your family and loved ones even when you are no longer here.
If you have a will, make sure everyone knows where to find it. It does you no good to create a comprehensive estate plan and then not tell anyone you have one. Your family should know about it and where to find your official documents. Make sure you keep those documents safe, such as in a safety deposit box, and that a trusted loved one has access to that box. Also speak about your choices with those around you, to assist in limiting the “he said, she said” arguments that are all too common.
Without a will, your children or other heirs will bear the brunt of the legal system. Intestate estates valued at $50,000 or more must go through Minnesota’s probate system. The probate process can take an extensive amount of time, and the costs of probate either come out of the deceased person’s estate or the heirs’ estates.
You have no say where your money goes or who cares for your children without a will. A will is the only legal document you can use to name your guardian of choice for your children if you pass away before they reach the age of 18. Additionally, as a person who dies intestate, you will have no say where your money goes. If you cared a lot about supporting certain philanthropic organizations, like Prince, no will means you cannot leave any of your estate to charitable organizations. Instead, the government gets the bulk of your money and the courts get which party or parties get the remainder of it.
Curious to know more about how you can ensure you can best protect your estate and family upon your death? Speak with an experienced Minnesota estate planning lawyer today by calling our law firm at 763-241-0477.