Prince Left No Will – Which Means He Left a Problem
Don’t make the same mistake as Prince. Protect your assets with a will.
Anyone who has paid even a small bit of attention to the news of late, knows that legendary musician Prince passed away. Most people will never have the kind of money and property Prince had, but still, he provides the perfect example of why everybody needs a will. Because Prince, despite all of his wealth, apparently did not have an estate plan or a will, he left a mess for his family.
What Will Happen to Prince’s Assets?
When you don’t have a will, your assets pass through intestacy. That is, the state’s law picks who inherits your assets and what percentage each person will get. Prince allegedly had no living children and no spouse. He did however, have six siblings, one full and five half. Based on Minnesota’s law of intestacy, his money will be split among those siblings. There are some people making claims they are Prince’s children. Should any of those claims be true, the child or children would inherit everything. The siblings would inherit nothing.
Why Does It Matter That Prince Didn’t Have an Estate Plan?
You might wonder, well, if the money will go to Prince’s siblings, why is that a problem? The answer is, that Prince may well not have wanted the money to go to his siblings. But if he did want his assets to go to his brothers and sisters, he ended up passing along a lot less than he otherwise could have provided. The failure to have an estate plan means that Prince’s estate and his siblings will all have to pay a substantially greater amount in taxes than would otherwise have been required. Further, the entire process of estate administration will be more complex than it otherwise needed to be, which will cost more money and will take a lot of time. It will likely be many years before Prince’s siblings see any of his money.
What About Good Works After Life?
However, there is another issue here. If Prince wasn’t very close to his siblings, as news reports have stated, he lost the opportunity to set up any charities and allow his immense assets to help do good works after his death. Even if he was close to his siblings, perhaps he would have liked to leave a portion to the siblings and still fund a charity or charities. In fact, Prince was known to be a very generous and charitable man. He donated substantial amounts of money and lent his name and time to numerous charities. As a result, it is reasonable to assume, that he would have wanted those sorts of charities to have support from his many assets upon his death. Proper estate planning would have allowed Prince to fund or create charities upon his death and to leave all or some of the money he earned to do good work in his name after he passed on. Estate planning can do the same for you. Even if you do not have a lot in the way of assets, any amount of money or property you choose to leave to a charity upon your death can make a great difference. Without a proper will and/or estate planning, it is unlikely that such desires will be met. And as noted, your loved ones will likely have to pay more taxes and have to deal with a costly administration of your estate. It could be so costly that it eats up most of your assets.
Don’t Leave a Mess – Have an Estate Plan, and a Will
Prince was a great musician. But if he passed without a will, as seems to be the case, he left an unnecessary mess for his siblings. Further, he may well not have desired his siblings to have his assets and would have preferred his money to go to charity. These things will not happen now, given the lack of a will. When you pass, please make sure you don’t leave a mess for your family, and also, make sure your assets go where you want them to go. If you are in central Pennsylvania, make sure you meet with a Hoffmeyer & Semmelman York PA estate planning attorney who will help you plan for the future.