Prince died without a will, potentially causing “big complications” for his financial estate, musical legacy, and his one sibling and five half-siblings, according to the New York Times. Forbes last estimated his earnings in 2005, when he made $49.7 million pre-tax in that year alone.
Everyone should have a will, yet half of all Americans do not. If you want to be clear about who gets your money, make a will. A will is also the only place to nominate a guardian to care for your minor children. A will can also be used to name a trusted caretaker for your pet.
But that’s not us, right? In general the Jewish community does a good job of having wills in place. Even then however, a back-up will provides a catch-all for any property that isn’t taken care of by your living trust or other estate planning device. For example, it will take care of any property that you forget to transfer into your living trust or that you acquire after you make your living trust.
Here’s what you need to do as you think through having a will—and updating it. And please feel free to pass this on if it might help a loved one.
- Take stock of who needs you, such as your spouse, children, or a disabled relative.
- Who do you want to get your assets—will they, without a will?
- Think through what amount is “enough,” how much each person should receive.
- Are there things beyond money that you really desire for your heirs, such as a college education?
- What charitable organizations have been most important to you, and do you want to include them in your plans?
- What changes have happened in your family since you last updated your will?
A current estate plan is vital to making sure your wishes are carried out, and can help you leave a lasting personal legacy.
So if you want to be a rock star, I support you fully—but make sure you have a will, too. If you have any questions please contact us and we will be happy to provide additional information. —Jim Friedman