The Importance of an Estate Plan
According to his sister, Prince Rogers Nelson (“Prince”), died without a Will or trust with an estate estimated at $300 million. Prince was not survived by his parents and was not married at the time of his death. Although he had one child, the child died at a very early age. However he was survived by his sister and five (5) half siblings. Under the law, half siblings are treated the same as full siblings for purposes of determining inheritances. Had Prince executed a Will, he would’ve been able to designate specifically how his estate would be distributed. The beneficiaries could have been limited to certain siblings and/or charities and without these directions, the state statutes dictate specifically where his assets will be distributed. More importantly, had he executed a Revocable Living Trust, this could have been accomplished and probate would have been avoided.
Avoiding probate would have protected the privacy of the inheritance matters. More importantly, it could have saved significant amounts of attorney’s fees that will be incurred to complete the probate administration. Unfortunately this is just another sad reminder of the importance of taking the time to implement an effective Estate Plan.