Throughout history people have made inheritance choices that are inexplicable to others. Radio and television funnyman Jack Benny set aside a significant sum of money so that his wife would receive one long-stemmed red rose every day for the rest of her life.
In a similar vein, in 1970, Janis Joplin bequeathed $2,500 "so my friends can get blasted after I'm gone." Today, the amount would be equal to more than $16,000.
End-of-life planning can be complicated and a little scary. That may be why so many people don’t do it. After musician Prince Rogers Nelson died without a will in 2016, Prince died without a will or trust. And as a result of a no-plan and his large, complex estate (est. value of $200-$300 million), it is still not settled. So far, the administrative costs and fees are estimated to be $55 million, according to USA Today. Gallup conducted a poll and found the majority of Americans don’t have wills. Not everyone has an estate like Prince, but we can all learn from the unenviable state of his estate.
If you ever wake in the middle of the night troubled about what will happen to your children if something happens to you, or concerned your ex may be the beneficiary named on your 401(k) plan, or worried your spouse will be able to keep the house when you’re gone, it’s time to put a plan in place.
One way to get past some of these obstacles is to work with a trusted financial advisor who can coach you through the process. An advisor can help with many aspects of planning to make sure the plan you want is the one put into place.
Even if you don’t wake up in the middle of the night worrying about what will happen when you’re gone, it’s a good idea to have a will so any assets left behind go to the people or organizations you choose – and not to legal fees, taxes, and heirs chosen by a probate judge.
If you would like to learn more about the estate planning process or have a will and
estate plan that have not been updated recently, get in touch. We’re happy to help.