Celebrities and Us: The Case for Making a Will

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28 May Celebrities and Us: The Case for Making a Will

Legendary singer Aretha Franklin died in August 2018. While the world grieved, and mourned the passing of the Queen of Soul, a legal battle was brewing amongst her family members.

Ms Franklin didn’t have a will, which means that her reported net worth of $80 million became a matter for the courts to decide. In the days following her death, her four sons immediately filed a document in Michigan’s Oakland County Probate Court listing themselves as interested parties in her estate, while her niece Sabrina Owens asked the court to appoint her as personal representative of the estate. While there can be no doubt over her musical legacy, the fate of her estate is a contentious matter.

Sadly, the Queen of Soul is not alone in this regard. Sonny Bono, Jimi Hendrix and Prince, just to name but a few are among famous names who have died without a will. In some cases, the ensuing legal battles dragged on for years. Dying without a legal will means to die ‘intestate.’

As it turns out, celebrities are just like many of us in this regard. According to research by Unbiased, 3 out of every 5 adults in the UK do not have a will. For many of us, making a will forces us to confront our own mortality, which isn’t particularly pleasant. And given how busy our lives are, there are a million and one things we would rather be doing than thinking about what happens to our assets when we are no longer here.

Chances are, your estate will be considerably less than Aretha Franklin’s, but a will is the only way to ensure that your assets go where you want them to go.

The right money – to the right people – at the right time.
Dying without a will means that it is up to the law to dictate who inherits your estate and when it is inherited. This inevitably means your assets may not necessarily go to who you would want them to.

Furthermore, sorting out an estate where there is no will can take a considerable amount of time and effort. Especially if it is not clear what assets the deceased owned, or if there are complex familial relationships which make distributing the estate under intestacy rules difficult.

At Tandem, we are all about helping clients make difficult choices. As part of our holistic financial planning, we have created a new section on our website to give you valuable information and guidance on how to go about making a will.

Our affiliated Will Writer & Estate Planner is Marcos Kallou. Marcos has been a Will Writer for over 15 years. He has extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with all estate planning situations. A Fellow of the Institute of Professional Will writers, Marcos operates to the highest professional and ethical standards. He is able to advise on wills, trusts, guardianship for minors, long term care protection, re-marriages and lasting powers of attorney. You can download Marcos’ details here.

If you need any further assistance on this, please let us know and we’d be happy to help!