Some things will never change. One of those things is that some people will not do estate planning. Aretha Franklin is one such person. She passed two months ago of pancreatic cancer and left four sons. Obviously, she knew she was sick, but chose not to put her thoughts down on paper.
Her sons are age 48 to 63. Under the laws of most states, and Michigan is no different, when the deceased person has not written a will, and there is not a spouse, the children inherit equally. In her case, that is not a great thing because her oldest son, is incapacitated, and receives benefits from the state of Michigan. Had Ms. Franklin done estate planning, he would have been able to continue receiving those benefits.
Another unfortunate result of her failure to plan, is that her estate will be subject to probate. All of us will be aware of the distribution of her estate because it will play out publicly.
Moreover, she could have reduced the amount the government is going to receive from her estimated $80 million estate. The IRS is entitled to 40% of the estate after the first $11,180,000. On an $80 million estate, that is over $27 million dollars.
I could go on . . ., but the message is clear, Ms. Franklin would have gotten more respect had she had an estate plan prepared by an estate planning attorney!
Estate Planning and Probate Attorney, Manhattan Beach Local, Sports Enthusiast