Prince’s Family Forced Into Probate

Hi there, Bridget Mackay here in Petaluma, California. I’m an attorney and I practice exclusively in the area of wills, trust, and estate planning in elder law. Today, I want to talk about the celebrity death of Prince, the musician. I was surprised as I’m sure maybe some of you were that he had no will or trust, no estate plan whatsoever despite having millions and millions of dollars from his career in music. And I thought about it; I also understand that he had no children. And oftentimes… Or he was not also married. So oftentimes, folks who aren’t married or even if they are married and they have no children, I have found in my practice, will vapor lock over what to do with their assets. And so they end up doing nothing and that’s what I imagine Prince did because I’m pretty sure he had access to plenty of attorneys to let him know what he needs to do if he were to die.

Let’s look at that for a minute. He left no will or trust and his only heirs according to the Minnesota probate code are his brothers and sisters. They are having to go to court for a probate which is really costly. They’re exposed to lawsuits about where his assets are going to go, there’s plenty of women coming forward that’s saying they have Prince’s child and DNA tests happening. And it’s boiled down to his brothers and sisters and they’ve had to go through all of this court, spend all kinds of money in court in order to get his inheritance.

My advice to you or the takeaway message from this is even though you don’t have any children or even if you may not be married and don’t have any children, you still owe it to your loved ones whether they be your brother, sisters, friends, whoever steps in to take care of your assets or take care of your probate to do an estate plan and keep them out of court. Even if you’re going to give those assets to a charity or nieces and nephews, a well thought out, thorough plan that names folks in any of those crises is far better than the costs or having to give that money to attorneys and the government. So in order to put a thorough estate plan together if your are single and have no children or married and have no children, contact a qualified estate planning attorney today.

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