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Talk is Cheap

April 25, 2017 Douglas Davis

Talk is Cheap, Estate Plans are Priceless

The famous musician Prince died a year ago and the battle over his fortune will not be resolved any time soon.

The question of whether Prince left a will continues to be one of the great mysteries in this soap opera with claims coming in from all sides. In addition, Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson and half-siblings Sharon, Norrine and John Nelson, Omarr Baker and Alfred Jackson filed in court and have been squabbling over how to apply funds from the estate.

What happened here and why has the existence of a will been so hard to determine?  Following Prince’s death, Tyka Nelson filed in court stating that the musician didn’t leave a will.  Prince’s ex-wife, Mayte Garcia, said this week that the performer did have a will — at least when they were together.

Garcia, who was married to Prince for four years and had a son with the singer who died a week after his birth, confirmed to reporters that Prince had in fact made out a will.

“When I was with him he had a will, because I was pregnant,” Garcia said in the interview. “And I remember there was a concern about financial stuff. I remember I just started seeing the bills coming in and I went, ‘Hey!’ And I remember he finally said, ‘Don’t worry, I have everything taken care of.'”

“Don’t worry everything is taken care of.”  How often we have heard that same statement when discussing the necessity for estate planning with potential clients. But as we all know, talk is cheap and unless a comprehensive written estate plan has been prepared and can be easily located, chaos will result.

Discussing the transfer of assets and family values is important to all of us whether we are famous like Prince, or not. Verbal instructions or assurances that everything has been taken care of are not honored by the courts and only cause confusion when clarity and stability are most needed.

If you are unable to locate a written estate plan that is fully funded and represents your desires and your family’s legacy, no one else will be able to create one after it is too late.  Engaging an attorney who specializes in comprehensive estate planning is one of the best things you can do, not only for yourself, but also for the ones you love.  Is everything taken care of?