The New York Times reported that Aretha Franklin left no will when she died last August at the age of 76. That doesn’t mean that Michigan, where she lived, will get all her money. But it does the mean that Michigan will determine where it goes.
What’s worse for her family though is that now details of her personal finances will become public.
By failing to plan, the estate could be tied up in an administrative spider web for years, ultimately costing far more money to resolve than it would had Ms. Franklin taken care of her estate beforehand. While the Franklin estate can likely well afford the time of costly administration, and even the tax consequences for failing to plan, those of us with modest or mid-level incomes cannot.
Lisa Finn, of counsel with WLF, focuses only on estate planning. She says often, estate panning is not just for the wealthy—the wealthy can afford to make mistakes. Estate planning is especially important for everyone else. Whether you single or married, and especially if you are a newly minted adult (or raised one): you need to plan.
Watch our site for our upcoming series where we get this conversation going.