Music fans here in Colorado and around the world were shocked by the news that musical artist Prince died recently. What may be even more shocking is that the man who went to such lengths to control his music died without a will. This fact could make the estate administration & probate process costly and time-consuming.
Without an estate plan, the decisions regarding what will happen to Prince's assets, including a large amount of music that the artist had not released before his death will fall to a judge. This means that whatever wishes he might have had for the distribution of his estate will most likely not happen in the manner he might have intended. His death is being seen as a lesson to everyone who does not have at least a will.
Colorado residents do not have to have millions of dollars to need an estate plan. Anyone who owns assets such as a house, car and other property should make arrangements for the disposition of that property in case of death. Furthermore, anyone with minor children can use his or her will to appoint a guardian for them. Depending on a person's circumstances, other estate-planning documents such as trusts can be executed in order to ensure that his or her property ends up with the heirs and beneficiaries of that person's choosing -- not who the state of Colorado decides.
Preparing for estate administration & probate is not just for the individual. Having an estate plan provides loved ones with instructions regarding how the assets of the estate are to be handled. This can greatly reduce the time and money that will need to be spent in order to settle the estate while maximizing the inheritances that an individual intended for friends, families and charities.
Source: CNBC, "Don't be like Prince. Set up an estate plan now", Sharon Epperson, May 5, 2016