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Last Will and Testament

Why you may want to make updating your will a priority

So you haven’t had time to get to drafting up that will – no problem, you can do it next month right? Maybe or maybe not! I’m guessing that Prince thought he had all the time in the world as well. In April, just a couple miles from my house in Chanhassen and a few blocks from my son’s daycare, one of the most beloved musical artists of our time passed away in his estate.   It is rumored that Prince had over $300 million in net worth made up of over 170 acres of land in Carver County, the Paisley Park Estate, precious movie memorabilia and enough music in his vault to release a brand new album every year for a hundred years.

The problem with his accumulated estate was that Prince did not leave a will or any sort of trust that would direct how his assets should be handled after his death. This means that the courts will now have to step in and direct where his personal belongings should go and how to handle his music. It’s one thing to split a bank account among his 6 siblings, but how will they divide his motorcycle from Purple Rain or his pianos and guitar collection?   Would Prince want his music divulged to the public after he had hoarded it away for decades in a vault that only he had access to? As of this week, Prince’s brother indicated that if he has it his way, he will likely release all of the music to the public. How will we ever know if that was what Prince would want since he did not leave a will or trust to direct it?

The law in Minnesota will now dictate the distribution of his assets and it typically starts the distributions with the spouse, children, parents, siblings and so on. Since there is no spouse or no living parents, the siblings will likely receive the bulk of the estate. Also, since there is no will then the door for contesting Prince’s true wishes swings wide open. Since the public has gotten word of this situation, there have been over 700 people calling in to claim they are a relative of Prince.

It should make us all take a moment to think about our own situations and how things would work if tomorrow didn’t arrive for us. We typically review our clients’ estate planning at least every 3 years in detail. If you don’t have anything drafted or haven’t reviewed it in a while, now is a good time to start! Let us know if we can be of assistance.