Don’t Let This Be You!

Aretha Franklin Died Without A Will

How do we know? Simple because ANYONE can go down to the probate office and find out what’s going on.

In this case, presumably the crack investigative journalists at the Detroit Free Press went down to the probate courts and found...”her four sons filed a document Tuesday afternoon listing themselves as interested parties in her estate. One document filed with the court and signed by her son Kecalf Franklin, and her estate attorney, David Bennett, check a box acknowledging the absence of a will.”

No Will or Trust

You can read the article here if you so choose.

The article goes on to state “the finances of an intensely private Aretha Franklin soon will become very public in Oakland County Probate Court because she left no will or trust.”

The funny thing about that statement though is that a WILL won’t solve the issue of an estate becoming ‘very public’ either.

Probate Court

Probate court is nothing more than the public proving of a Will.  The emphasis there on PUBLIC.  So, a Will or not, probate court will get involved and thus this will become public.

Dying without a Will is called Intestate by the way.  Which means the probate court will have at it to dictate the disposition of your assets.  Hopefully, there won’t be children who need guardianship! I talk about this situation and how it may have affected my family in my book “Strategic Money Planning” which you can get here.  In fact, you can get this book for FREE on regular Kindle for the next day or so.  After that it’s all of $4.49.

Get A Will!

So what do you need to do? Well, make sure you at least have a Will!  In fact, in my video here, I go over estate planning basics and the minimal documents you need.  Now, be advised, I do not recommend simply using LegalZoom.  You need to get a real person to draw up your documents.  A real attorney who knows estate planning.

Yes, it will cost you a couple hundred dollars, or more. But folks, this is not just a form you take to the bank for a quick transaction, your life is wrapped up in this document(s). You have got to make sure it’s done correctly.  Even if costs you more money than doing it via computer program.

I leave you with these questions. When did you get your Will drawn up?  Has anything changed since then? How is your executor/executrix? Who is your attorney in fact?  What kind of Power of Attorney do you have? Do you have a Living Will? Do you have a Medical Directive?  Do you have a Trust? Is it funded?

So much to consider. But you need to do it, every few years too.

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