I’ve attached a link to an appearance I had on the Jearlyn Steele radio show on WCCO regarding Prince from Sunday night, May 1st, that you can listen to, if you want. My segment is near the end of the 7:00 hour slot.
I don’t know if you’ve followed the Prince story through the media but I have been amazed to hear the narrative and sound bite that’s come out of the particular issue of Prince apparently not having a will.
The sound bite appears to be: Prince did not have a will so more than half his estate will go to estate taxes. Everyone should have a will so that half of their estate doesn’t go to taxes.
In the short attention span media, I suppose this statement is more or less true.
However, my advice is much more in depth. A will alone, especially for a single person, would not have saved on estate taxes unless Prince had decided to give his assets to a charity.
In our office we stress that an estate plan first and foremost, expresses in specific terms, the intent of the decedent. All of the planning strategies, whether it is a will, a revocable trust, an irrevocable trust to hold life insurance or other assets outside the decadents estate, a charitable trust, an education trust or any number of products or planning tools, are designed to realize your intent for your estate after your death. In Prince’s case, since he appears to be charitably inclined, you wonder if certain royalty contracts could have been given to charity with income interests.
It has been interesting to see this saga played out on the national stage. Price died a little over a month ago. He really isn’t buried yet but the main thing mourners are talking about is his apparent lack of planning and what it will mean to his heirs.
Most of you are not as famous as Prince, but there are people who are important to you. In your mind’s eye, as those people gather for a remembrance of you, will they talk about your lack of planning, like they are with Prince? Or, will there be a plan in place that covers all of your needs?
Which scenario plays out is a matter for you to plan for and for us to help guide your intentions into the proper documents. As always, if you have any questions regarding an estate planning strategy, please do not hesitate to call us.
Rick Bardy, President
Bardy Law Office, P.A.