What Do Prince, Howard Hughes and James Brown Have In Common? 

money wasted without estate planWhat do Prince, Howard Hughes and James Brown have in common? Other than having significant wealth, and maybe similar zip codes, these three men did not have an estate plan. I know it can be shocking to think that with the amount of wealth they accumulated that they had no plan for how it would be distributed upon their death. Prince died without a Will or a Trust, as did Howard Hughes; James Brown had a Will in place but he failed to update it to reflect his marriage or to include his youngest child. The old adage of “pay now, or pay later” rang painfully true with these three gentlemen. If they had implemented an estate plan while they were alive (the “pay now” aspect), their family would not be in the position of “paying” later, and that is not necessarily a reference to paying money but speaks more to the consequence of not having an estate plan in place.

Estate Planning Benefits Families

Regardless of how much money you have, or don’t have, it is important to discuss how a Will or a Trust would benefit you and your family. The freedom and ability to direct how your assets (referred to as your “estate”) are transferred or who they are paid to upon your death is, quite honestly, a big deal. If you already have an estate plan in place, we recommend that you review that plan every five years to determine if any changes need to be made. Have you lost anyone in your family? Did you have a child, or children since you created your estate plan? Did you get divorced or remarried? These are all factors to consider when reviewing an estate plan to determine if updates are needed.

We are happy to meet with new clients that are interested in learning about and discussing an estate plan and how we can help implement a plan that works for each client’s individual needs and circumstances. We are also happy to review prior estate plans and determine what, if any, updates should be made.

Meghan Donnellon Hyden – Donnellon, Donnellon and Miller

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