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Estate planning could have protected Prince's assets

When music icon Prince died unexpectedly in 2016, he left behind an estate worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Unfortunately, anyone who may be entitled to make claims on the estate, except the government, will walk way with less than they could have due to the lack of an estate plan. This case is one that Michigan residents can learn from about the need for estate planning.

The state in which Prince lived and died, much like all others, has very specific laws regarding what is to happen to an estate that is not protected by a will or trust. Prince was a single man with no known children. According to the laws of his state, as such, his assets are to be divided between his siblings. Of course, numerous others, family members, acquaintances, business associates and the government, have also made claims regarding his estate.

Prince's final estate is estimated to be worth $200 million. State and federal taxes will eat up half of that. Legal fees and other claims that are approved in court will take even more.

While few Michigan residents have estates as large as Prince's, safeguarding assets is important for everyone. Failing to go through the estate planning process and putting the desired protections in place will only hurt loved ones in the end. The IRS is the only big winner when estate plans are overlooked. An experienced attorney can help with will preparation, trust creation and all other aspects of estate planning. By seeking estate planning assistance, one can be sure his or her assets and beneficiaries receive the highest level of protection possible.

Source: twincities.com, "Poor planning means government will take half of Prince's estate", Steve Karnowski, Jan. 17, 2017

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