Do you, like many people, enjoy watching or listening to news about your favorite celebrities, including their achievements, awards, family news and more? We all feel tremendous loss when we read about our favorite celebrities passing away. However, we can learn from celebrities about what to do and not do when it comes to estate planning and the impact of poor or no estate planning on grieving families. In other words, good and bad estate planning.
For example, Chadwick Boseman, who starred as the Black Panther in the highly successful film of the same name and in the Avenger movies, passed away from cancer. Unfortunately, when he passed away, he did not have an estate plan. And, like Mr. Boseman, the majority of Americans still do not have an estate plan, and many believe it is something to do only later in life which is bad estate planning. According to the news, Mr. Boseman passed away “intestate” or without a will, so his family had o follow the laws outlined by the state he passed away in.
Now, by having a good estate plan, everyone will know how you want your assets to be distributed, your legacy may continue, and you can minimize the chances of disputes among family members concerning the distribution of your estate. Sadly, when Prince passed away, he did not have an estate plan in place to govern distribution of his assets. Even now, it is still reported that years later the fighting continues.
By contrast, Aretha Franklin did create an estate plan, though, she was reported to have over four wills. The really bad news about these four wills? Not a single one of them was properly executed or completed. As a result, her estate has lingered over four years, and now the IRS must be paid millions of dollars in unpaid taxes.
It is important to be aware that even the best estate plan can be challenged. We highly recommend that you work with a qualified Florida estate planning attorney when you create your Florida estate plan. When Robin Williams passed away, he had a strong estate plan but, according to reports, his family still engaged in a five year legal battle over the assets within it.
So, what estate planning lessons can we learn from these celebrities? Can they teach us to protect ourselves and those around us? What about our desire, like theirs, to leave a legacy not just within our own family but in our community? We would like to share a few good and bad estate planning tips with you right now:
As you can see, there is much to learn from celebrity estate planning. The key is to learn and plan forward. Our estate planning law firm takes a very different approach from what you might have come to expect. Our goal is to create lifelong relationships with each of our clients, to guide and manage your legacy for the rest of your life. Please contact our offices in Stuart and in Palm City to learn more.