As the whole world knows by now, Prince, or the Artist is formerly known as Prince, didn’t make a Will before his death. His sister was forced to file a proceeding in court to have someone appointed to manage his estate while the court figures out who will benefit from his estate. These proceedings are going to be very public, just as any probate proceeding usually is.
Because Prince didn’t make a will, we don’t know what he really wanted to happen to his many assets. Even worse, he lost the opportunity to control where his music can be sold and how it can be used. Can’t you just see him rolling over in his grave (figuratively speaking) when future generations – or maybe even this one – permit one of his songs to be used as a jingle for a television commercial?
Prince shouldn’t have had just a will. His estate really would benefit from a trust – with a trustee who respected his music and his art, and would assure that it lived on in a way that would make him proud.
So why didn’t Prince have a Will or a Trust? One commentator, I saw on the news guessed that it was because he didn’t plan to die.
Well, most of us aren’t planning to die today, and many of our loved ones who have gone on to the great beyond didn’t plan to die the day they left us either. Unfortunately, we can’t always plan the when and where of our death. We can, however, make sure we put the plans in place in case our death occurs unexpectedly.
If you haven’t put a will or trust in place, do your family a favor and give me a call. Even if you aren’t planning to die anytime soon, it will give you peace of mind and assure a smooth transition for your heirs – and keep them out of a very public probate proceeding.