The entire team at Brown & Crona, LLC were saddened by the news of the passing of legendary singer Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul had an amazing career and her music will continue to enrich the lives of anyone that listens. Thank you, Aretha, for the music.
It’s hard to imagine the wealth of estate she must have accumulated over the years, but we have seen estimates that the estate may be worth $80 million dollars. This amount could actually grow over time with royalty money and as people scramble to purchase her music post-mortem.
Unfortunately, it has been reported that she did not leave a will or trust. Her 4 sons stand to inherit her wealth in equal shares since she was not married at the time of her passing. However, right now her estate is in the hands of the court. And Aretha’s sons will have to be ready to field requests from creditors. It has been reported that one of her sons has special needs. Depending on his disability, the funds he receives from her estate may need to be held by a conservator under the Court’s supervision.
If she had created a trust, her estate could have been kept private and she could have identified exactly how she wanted her assets distributed and who she wanted to handle the process (the executor). She also could have created a lifetime trust for the son with special needs so that his assets would not need to be managed by a Conservator.
This is not the first time – and probably won’t be the last – that an incredibly successful person has passed away without a will. Michael Jackson, Prince, Howard Hughes, James Brown and John Denver are just a few famously wealthy people that left this world without a solid estate plan.
Any amount of money that appears to be up for grabs can make people take some pretty extreme measures to get a piece of the pie. The take away from this blog is that you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to need a will or trust. If you have any possessions at all and you want to see those possessions go to your loved ones, having a will or trust can set your mind at ease.
The Denver estate planning lawyers at Brown & Crona, LLC can help you get your affairs in order so you can create the most comprehensive will or trust possible. Don’t wait to get this done. You never know what the future holds. To learn more or to arrange a meeting, please contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online.