Last week, the world lost a musical legend in the form of Prince Rogers Nelson. As the world grieves, his loved ones are left to sort out his estate. Unfortunately, Prince’s apparent lack of will and estate planning documents complicate questions about taxes, inheritance, and music rights. Without legally enforceable estate planning documents in place, this tragedy draws attention to the complication that arise without proper planning.
Throughout his career, Prince was known for his fierce defense of his music rights. Unfortunately, without any estate planning documents that explicitly state this, Prince’s heirs have no obligation to adhere to his wishes. Although the issue of inheritance remains murky at this time, unless a will surfaces, any potential heirs will be able to act freely with their portion of the estate.
The lack of clear beneficiaries is another compelling reason to maintain accurate estate planning documents. Between Prince’s sister and his seven half siblings, there are quite a few people who could attempt to claim rights to the estate. With a will, it would have been possible to control which family members, if any, inherited.
Between the size of Prince’s estate and the complete lack of any evident estate planning, Prince provides an extreme example. It is important, however, to make sure all estate planning documents are not only possible to find, but also that they reflect your current wishes. If you have any questions about the effects of your current estate plan, don’t hesitate to call today and make an appointment.