CNN recently reported that Aretha Franklin died without a will or trust in place. By failing to plan, there will be serious financial, privacy and time issues for those dealing with her estate.
Why did Ms. Franklin need an estate plan? How would it have helped:
- Privacy. All of her assets must go through probate, so her financial information will be part of the court record.
- Attorney’s Fees. Attorneys will be hired to represent the estate and the beneficiaries, and the fees could easily range in the field of hundreds of thousands of dollars for a large estate.
- Probate Timeline. Probate can be a long and difficult process, and her assets will not be completely released until the matter is settled in court.
- Control. When you have an estate plan in place, you decide who your executor and trustees are, who will inherit your assets and if the money will be give outright or held in trust and doled out in specific amounts.
- Estate Taxes. If she is subject to estate tax, an attorney could have structured her estate to minimize her estate tax exposure.
Everyone needs an estate plan. To speak to an experienced estate planning attorney, call Lavender Greenberg at 786-832-4694.