Recent celebrity deaths raise estate planning questions for all

Estate administration challenges and even litigation often mark the aftermath of a high net-worth person’s death. This is especially the case for those who leave no estate planning documents, which was purportedly the situation regarding recently departed celebrities such as Aretha Franklin and Prince. While these stories involving the estates of the rich and famous certainly make headlines, they should also incite some reflection in Delaware individuals in families who may be at risk of putting off estate planning until it is too late.

According to reports, less than half of Americans have a will. While they may not have hundreds of millions in assets themselves, whatever they do have can cause serious conflict without a proper plan in place. In fact, if less wealth is available, it can make planning even more critical since a high percentage of it can be lost in the litigation process should things end up in court.

There are a few ways to avoid this kind of trouble. The first is to make a plan earlier on in life, just in case something happens. This is especially critical for parents who should name guardians for their children.

After drafting the will in a complete and forward-thinking way, Delaware adults should revisit it every few years. In particular, it should be updated to reflect major life changes such as marriage, divorce, children and blended families. While estate planning can be a touchy subject, the issues that can emerge if a person passes away without a will make it well worth any discomfort. The best way to make sure the process is clear and legally sound is by working with a lawyer to solidify plans in a will.



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