On Monday May 2nd, the family of Prince, the music legend who died recently at age 57, will head to court in Minnesota to begin determining how his estate, estimated at $300 million, will be distributed among his heirs.
Unfortunately, the process will be unnecessarily complex and cumbersome because Prince did not leave a Will.
$300 million and no Will?
That’s right – and Prince is not the only famous or wealthy person to die without a Will. The list includes Jimi Hendrix, Sonny Bono, Kurt Cobain, Martin Luther King – even Abraham Lincoln was guilty of not creating a Will.
These are not isolated cases. According to Forbes, 30 percent of individuals with net worth of $500,000 or more do not have a Last Will and Testament, and a staggering 55% of all adults have no Will!
So what happens next in the case of Prince’s estate, since he was not married, and had no children?
Once an executor is appointed, the estate is distributed according to Minnesota state law – each state has its own probate laws dictating who the heirs are when someone dies “intestate,” meaning without a Will. In Minnesota, an estate divides first between the decedent’s parents, and if they are not living, then among their descendants.
Connecticut has its own laws governing intestate succession. But why let any state decide who gets your assets when you die? The time to create your Will is NOW.
Who knows what the future will bring, and wouldn’t you want to decide who your heirs are, and what you want them to inherit?
Even if you have a Will, things might have changed since you created it. Heath Ledger, the actor, wrote his will before his daughter was born, leaving everything to his parents and his sisters, and never updated it. Then he died at age 28.
If you need a Will, or if you need to update your Will, we strongly recommend that you take care of this important duty of responsible adulthood. We’re here to help. Contact us today.
For more information, read our post, The Shocking Truth About Not Having a Will.