Since our last update on the debacle surrounding the administration of Prince's estate, many news agencies have highlighted the astronomical costs incurred as a result of his lack of estate planning (as well as other disputed aspects of the estate, including the determination of Prince's legal heirs).
In one recent article, the Associated Press reported that the estate has incurred fees of approximately $2 million through June 30, 2016, which does not include the fees owed to the special administrator of the estate (because such fees are filed under seal of the court). As an estate planner, I can't help but wonder how the utilization of proper estate planning techniques may have decreased the overall fees owed in the administration of Prince's estate. Of course, it's not to say that proper estate planning would prevent all of the fees incurred as a result of this estate (due to the ambiguity of legal heirs), but it's certainly possible that some of these fees could have been distributed to the intended beneficiaries rather than be paid out to estate administration professionals.
Proper estate planning is not simply for the uber-wealthy like Prince. Instead, personalized estate planning has the potential to benefit nearly everyone regardless of your circumstance, wealth, or life stage. If you've never considered an estate plan, contact us today and learn about the different options available to you and your family.
Ben Schwefel is an Associate Attorney at The Loftin Firm. For questions relating to a business, nonprofit, or estate planning matter, contact Ben at (760) 814-9649.