When the music legend, Price, passed away it was a day of sadness for his fans. For his family, they have been left to cope with the grief that a loved one passing unexpectedly brings. To make matters worse, The Purple One had no estate planning- no will. As such, his $300 million dollar estate will be split in accordance with probate court rulings.
This is the worst case scenario for all concerned. Prince’s wishes are unknown and as such cannot be taken into account. The family has to wait for legal processes to run their course, prolonging the grief and delaying the healing process the funeral should have started.
Key Aspects of Good Estate Planning
Make a Will
With a will in place you can determine who receives what of your estate. Start by making a list of your property, assets, and include debts. If you have children, assign guardians to look after them. If you pass unexpectedly, they will have your chosen guardian to look after them. Then decide which parts of your estate go to whom.
If you’re assets are significant it is a good idea to place your assets in a trust. Trusts manage your assets during your lifetime and then upon your death, carry out your wishes including bequests to loved ones and charitable organisations. They offer greater confidentiality and often avoid probate than wills.
Choose Key People with Care
You will need three key people to carry out your wishes upon your death. They are:
- Executor – They carry out your wishes and can be anyone you choose from adult child to close friend.
- Durable power of attorney – This person will have legal authority to handle financial matters. If you do not appoint one your loved ones will not be able to pay bills etc for a considerable amount of time. They will continue to run up costs until such time that your family are allowed to pay them.
- Medical power of attorney – This person has the power to make medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so. They work in conjunction with your living will where you state whether you wish to have life sustaining treatment should you become incapacitated.
Factor in Tax
All payments to beneficiaries are subject to tax. So when you decide how much a person receives, you should take this into account. As such, check your accounts to ensure there is enough money in them to ensure nobody is short changed.
Letter of Last Instruction
This puts your final wishes into place.
What is the Pension Deficit?
Unless you’re a financial or estate planner, the legal aspects and requirements can be extremely complicated. There is a lot to consider, and it is a must to seek professional advice.
My award winning financial planning advice can help you plan your estate effectively and with a minimum of fuss. Once your plan is in place you will have the peace of mind that your family can carry on with their lives with the minimum of legal dealings. Click here and complete the Call Back Service form in the first instance.