But in the wake of her death, Aretha Franklin’s name can be found on another list among some of the world’s most prominent artists. Artists like Amy Winehouse, Prince, Bob Marley, Jimmy Hendrix and now Aretha Franklin are just a few of the many world-renowned artists who died without a leaving a will.
According to legal experts, Franklin’s estimated $80 million estate should be evenly divided among her four adult sons: Ted White Jr., Kecalf Franklin, Edward Franklin and Clarence Franklin. But if history is any testament to what will actually happen to Franklin’s estate, given similar situations from high-profile celebrity estates in the past, the settlement of Franklin’s assets will be no simple matter.
Take for example Prince, who died in 2016 without leaving a will and whose estate was estimated to be worth between $150 million and $300 million. After more than 2 years of litigation between the rightful heirs of his estate the matter of what belongs to who has yet to be resolved.
So, if passing away without a will can leave your loved ones with so many legal headaches then why would these famous celebrities go years without seeking any tax or legal counsel?
The answer is often quite simple – planning for one’s own eventual demise can be depressing. Add the fact that estate planning can be complex and expensive, many celebrities choose to forgo the endeavor altogether.
In fact, according to a 2015 survey by Rocket Lawyer, 64% of Americans don’t have a will. Even more alarming, 70% of those aged 45-54 have no estate planning or will set in place at all.
But with most financial decisions we make during our lifetime, and non-financial for that matter, we often take into account other factors including the wellbeing of our friends and loved ones.
You wouldn’t intentionally make decisions that would cause legal headaches for your loved ones when you’re alive so why leave them to fight those battles alone when you pass away? For those still debating if they should draft a will or at least consider estate planning here are three reasons why you should act sooner rather than later.
So have a little respect for your family and loved ones and leave them with the decisions made. If you want to learn more about estate planning or how you can draft a will please consult with a legal or tax advisor or fill in the form below and we will contact you.