The weak, the strong, the rich, the poor, the young, the old… you get the idea.
Estate Planning is important for many reasons, one of which is to inform the people you leave behind after death about your wishes.
What will happen to your favorite gold jewelry? Who gets the money you spent most of your life earning and saving? Who will become the owner of your real estate? Who gets your beloved dog?
These are just some important questions to ask yourself. If you don’t take care of your interests, someone else will and in many cases, that “person” is the state government. When you die without a will, you give up the power to determine what happens to the things that were most important to you.
Real Life Stories
In August of 2022, Anne Heche died after being taken off life support. A few days earlier, she had crashed her car into a woman’s home in Los Angeles. This was a very unexpected death, and Anne, unfortunately, did not have a will.
As a result, her two sons and former partners have been in an extended legal battle with regard to her estate. She left behind a substantial sum of money, as well as other assets, which were not assigned. Wills are beneficial for exactly this reason- there is no battle or debate needed when the Testator (the person who passes) determines who gets what.
Pablo Picasso, the infamous painter, died in 1973. When he died, he had over $30 million dollars in cash and assets, but he did not have a will. This resulted in a six year battle over who would get his assets. Eventually, his Estate was divided up between 6 of his heirs.
Maybe Pablo Picasso had specific wishes for who he wanted to receive his assets, maybe not. What we do know is that knowledge makes all the difference. Knowing puts the people we leave behind at ease or, at the very least, can help prevent assumptions and entitlements from creating rifts within your family.
What about you? Have you thought about getting a will? What about a Power of Attorney? If you’re still unsure, a great question to ask yourself is, “what have I got to lose?”
We’d love to talk to you about your Estate planning needs. Please reach out to Anne@momentumlawyers.com to get started. We look forward to hearing from you.
Still not convinced? Check out our other blogs that share more about why you should have a Will:
- I’ll be dead so I won’t care…and other excuses to avoid Estate Planning – Momentum Law Group (momentumlawyers.com)
- Estate Planning Notes: Small Insights About Estates in the News – Momentum Law Group (momentumlawyers.com)
Sources: 10 Famous People Who Died Without a Will | LegalZoom; Anne Heche’s Estate Battle Following Her Death: Everything to Know (usmagazine.com)