Meinzer Law Firm, PC

There are lessons to be learned from Aretha Franklin's estate

Although many Torrance residents understand the value of estate planning, there are still many of us who keep putting the task off. Estate planning can feel like a morbid task, but it is such an important way for a person to ensure their assets are successfully transferred to the right people and organizations. When there isn't a will or trust in place, there can be many complications, as is the case with Aretha Franklin's estate.

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, recently passed away and it has been learned that she died without an estate plan in place. Her estate, which is worth millions, will now have to go through probate where her heirs will most likely argue about who receives what. Time after time, stories like this about celebrities dying without an estate plan continue to happen. But, not just celebrities need an estate plan; everyone needs one.

When a person dies without a will or trust in place, their assets will need to go through the probate process. This is an expensive and time-consuming process that will also be public information. The court would appoint an administrator, oversee payments for creditors and then pass along the remaining assets to the heirs as determined by state statutes. If a person had a will or trust in place, those assets would generally not go through probate and they would be distributed precisely where the deceased wanted them to go.

Estate planning is a process that can take some time. A legal professional who specializes in estate planning can help their client create an estate plan that makes sense for their situation. They can also update an existing estate plan and make sure it still meets their needs.

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