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Aretha Franklin's Estate

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Aretha Franklin was unfortunately one of these individuals. She passed two months ago of pancreatic cancer and left not only a great legacy, but also an $80 million dollar estate, and four sons. She certainly knew she was sick, but chose not to put her thoughts down on paper.

Her four sons age’s range from 48 to 63. Under the laws of most states—including Michigan—when a deceased person has not written a will, and there is not a spouse, the children inherit equally. In her case the lack of an estate plan is made even more prevalent because of the condition of her eldest son. He is incapacitated, and receives benefits from the state of Michigan; had ms. Franklin left her estate in will and trust, he would have been able to continue receiving those benefits.

As if it were not already enough, her estate is now subject to probate. The distribution of her estate will also play out publicly and be available for anyone to access.

Additionally, the amount the government would receive from her estimated $80 million dollar estate could have been minimized. 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!

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