The more money your estate holds, the more complicated things will be for your heirs after you die, especially if you die without an estate plan. This is why it's essential for individuals who have substantial assets to create a rock-solid plan that will be followed after their deaths.
Estates in Washington that don't have any kind of estate plans associated with them could be substantially diminished in probate proceedings while relatives argue over who gets what. The ongoing, two-year estate battle regarding the late pop musician Prince's estate that's playing out in another state is proof of just how bad things can get.
Prince estate battles continue for years after his death
Prince passed away on April 21, 2016, but two years later, disagreements and legal wrangling over his estate continue. This is largely due to the vast size and complexity of Prince's estate, but it is also because the pop musician died without a will or any estate plan to speak of. The musician's estate, valued at approximately $200 million, has been trapped in what seems like a never-ending mess of legal confusion.
At this point, no heirs have collected any proceeds from the Prince estate. Part of the reasons for the delay is that the estate executor can't distribute the assets to heirs until after the Internal Revenue Service has approved of the distribution plan. No one seems to know when this approval will come.
Create your will, trusts and estate plan before it's too late
If Prince had drafted a will and/or organized his assets into a trust with specifically-named beneficiaries, the lion's share of the confusion and disagreements about his assets could have been avoided. In this respect, his lack of estate planning should serve as a warning and lesson to all estate planners in the United States. Not only will a completed estate plan help heirs and beneficiaries save money, time and stress after one has passed away, but it will also help individuals before they die in the event that they become incapacitated and unable to care for themselves.
You deserve the peace of mind that a well-crafted estate plan can provide. Don't wait another day to tend to this unfinished business.