The last thing a family wants to think about when a member passes is how the deceased’s assets will be handled. But with the population gradually becoming older, situations will occur more often where a will is out of date (or non-existent) or a person’s estate needs to go through probate, which can be complex and expensive. A recent example is in the case of the musician Prince, who died without a will for his millions in assets. The Minnesota courts had to intervene, at great delay and expense, and finally agreed that his legal heirs were one sibling and five half-siblings. The case continues, more than 15 months after his death.
No matter the size of your estate, a general rule is to ask your attorney to review any time a major life change happens – marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death of a close family member. Your plan should be reviewed every three to five years even if none of those changes occur, to account for things like market value fluctuations or tax law changes.
An important component of Mentor Capital’s wealth management process is assisting clients with estate planning, including attorney recommendations when preparing wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.