Few celebrity deaths over the past several years have rocked my world as much as the death, on April 21, 2016, of Prince Rogers Nelson, formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. As we wait for the results of the autopsy which are expected next week, the most shocking fact since his demise has been Prince’s lack of a Last Will and Testament. I’ve heard newscasters, bloggers and other talking heads state that Prince died young at 57, and therefore, may have felt that a Will was unnecessary or premature. While it may seem politically correct to say that someone in their 50’s is young, the impetus for someone having estate planning documents prepared should not be solely age-based. There should be a greater consideration paid to an asset-based reason for planning. Based on reports, Prince’s estate is estimated to be worth up to $300,000,000.00. Aside from his famed Paisley Park home/studio/archives, Prince owned what are believed to be dozens of pieces of land in his home state of Minnesota. His catalogue of music stands to earn his estate additional millions of dollars in the years to come, regardless of whether there are new albums released from an artist who was widely known to be among the most prolific of superstars. Intestacy laws (those governing estates when no Will has been located) state that the estate will be divided amongst Prince’s heirs. Prince has known siblings who will inherit, and there is a great likelihood that there will be private citizens coming out of the woodwork who claim to be a child of his. Proper estate planning would have allowed Prince to be the master of his own domain and would have allowed him to determine what happens with his assets, both current and future. His failure to properly plan robbed him of that opportunity.
While few, if any, readers of this post have portfolios worth as much as what is believed to be Prince’s estate, taking control of your estate as soon as you have distributable assets is something one should consider. Take control over where your property goes after your death. Don’t leave your heirs without a roadmap of your wishes. Give yourself the peace of mind to know that your loved ones, be they relatives, friends, charities, are protected. Contact one of our reputable and esteemed estate planning attorneys are Carluccio, Leone, Dimon, Doyle and Sacks and schedule an appointment today.