Here’s a riddle: What do painter Pablo Picasso, former NFL quarterback Steve McNair and rock star Prince all have in common? Each died without an estate plan, which caused major issues for their loved ones.
Can you imagine it took 19 attorneys several years to settle Picasso's assets among his heirs? Also, McNair had a $20 million estate with no game plan for how it would be allocated. And we’ve all heard about Prince’s lack of estate planning.
While you may not have celebrity wealth, these stars’ complicated finances should remind you of the importance of an estate plan. With proper planning and the expertise of an estate planning attorney, a Picasso-sized estate disaster can be avoided.
Kiplinger’s recent article, “5 Reasons You Need an Estate Plan,” asks you to consider the following reasons why estate plans are important:
- Control. With your estate plan, you can feel confident that your final wishes will be carried out because you can direct exactly how and when your heirs receive their inheritance, who gets the Steve McNair autographed jersey or which art museum will display your Picasso.
- Business. A small business owner can know that his or her business won’t be negatively affected by his or her unforeseen death. An estate plan drafted by an experienced attorney can make certain that the business will continue uninterrupted. Business owners can detail what should happen to the operations if they die, which can reduce the taxes their businesses will owe.
- Privacy. Without an estate plan, the probate process will let everyone know a person's assets at his or her passing because this is a matter of public record. An estate plan may eliminate the need for probate.
- Protection. Many Americans will suffer from an illness or disability before they die. If you’re proactive with an estate plan, you can arrange exactly how such a scenario would be handled with a power of attorney. An individual you select will be in control of your personal assets. If you fail to do this, your property may be appointed to a legal guardian who may mishandle your assets.
- Organization. When you take inventory for your estate plan, you can consider how to expand the worth of all of your assets. This process is necessary for your estate plan and your retirement plan. You want to see if you have the resources to sustain yourself for the rest of your life.
To learn more about estate planning, speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. He or she can help you prepare so your legacy and your loved ones are protected. We have two easy ways for your to schedule a complimentary consultation: 1) call us at 757-259-0707 or request a consultation online.
Reference: Kiplinger’s (August 2016) “5 Reasons You Need an Estate Plan”