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Lessons to learn from Prince's estate

Music legend Prince has been dead for two years now. But, his estate, which is worth millions, has still not been settled. Everyone can learn from the steps Prince should have taken to secure his estate so that it wouldn't turn into this complicated probate procedure.

Kent area residents should understand that it is important to have an estate plan in place regardless of age. There is always something that needs to be protected, whether it be assets, children or your own health and choices. When a person dies without an estate plan in place, which is what happened with Prince, the family can run into a lot of problems.

One issue is that without a will a judge will appoint someone to personally handle the asset allocation and that will occur based on complicated intestate succession rules. When there isn't an estate plan, the estate matters become public as well, which means a family's assets and debts are now public matters. In addition, a person's assets may not go where they intended them to go. If there isn't a will or trust in place, the estate will be settled by a judge and not by the person whose assets it belonged to. In addition, there may be a tremendous cost in order to resolve an estate. Probate can be lengthy and costly, adding perhaps even years to the estate settlement timeline.

No one wants their estate to wind up in a complicated legal mess, but, unfortunately, without an estate plan in place this is what can happen. Having an estate plan in place ensures a family's assets and wishes are followed. Although it may not be a pleasant topic, an estate plan offers a person peace of mind.

Source:, "5 things Prince's family, and you, should know about estate planning", Winnie Sun, May 18, 2016

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