Prince, the musical genius, consummate showman, and great humanitarian left us five years ago come April 21st.
Because Prince was also known as an astute businessman and very disciplined in his lifestyle, I find it hard to believe that at age 57 he didn’t have an elaborate estate plan or at least something as simple as a handwritten will. Court proceedings are now concluded and because Prince had no wife or children, under the laws of intestate succession his estate is being divided between his sister and five half-siblings. The many charities and causes he supported while living will get nothing (unless his heirs decide to give them something). If he had made charitable gifts in an estate plan, his sizeable inheritance tax bite could have been reduced. It remains to be seen what his siblings will do with the fabulous windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars after Uncle Sam gets his 40% share, the State of Minnesota gets its 15% share and the lawyers get their substantial piece of the action. We know that his musical vault is being mined for his 8,000+ songs that have yet to be released. It is estimated that a new album can be released every year until the year 3000!
Before the COVID pandemic, estate planning seemed to be a low priority for most people. They were so busy living that they didn’t have time to think about their mortality and eventual demise. All that changed when people learned of the deaths of others due to COVID and they had plenty of time to contemplate their mortality because just about everything shut down.
In my opinion, one good thing that can be said about the pandemic is that it was a great motivator to get people to put their affairs in order. 2020 was my busiest year in the nearly 20 years I have been practicing estate planning. Not only did I have a great many new clients, but many of my estate planning clients contacted me to update their estate plans. Unfortunately, I suppose once the pandemic is over people will put estate planning on the “back burner” again.
© 2021 by Marlene S. Cooper. All rights reserved.
(You may obtain further information at the website www.marlenecooperlaw.com, by e-mail at MarleneCooperLaw@gmail.com, by phone at (626) 791-7530 or toll free at (866) 702-7600. The information in this article is of a general nature and not intended as legal advice. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this article).