Tips For Entrepreneurs

The late musician Prince left behind a musical legacy. What he did not leave behind was a Will, which cost his legitimate heirs money and months of uncertainty when 30 other individual claims, including strangers claiming to be his long lost children, had to be adjudicated in court. What Prince might have wanted will never be known because he did not have a Will. It was the courts who decided who got what.

It’s true, Prince had a sizeable estate, but the size of the estate isn’t important: Prince should have had an estate plan including a Will — and so should you. Here’s why:

  • A Will designates how your estate should be distributed. You will protect your family from uncertainty and reduce the administrative expenses incurred by your estate.
  • Living Wills and Powers of Attorney for Personal Care provide directions for your care in the event of catastrophic illness or disability, whereas a regular Will only takes effect upon your passing.
  • Liquid assets should be set aside to pay for taxes, debts, the costs of settling your estate, and/or other obligations.
  • Your beneficiaries should be clearly stated for all registered investments and insurance policies. It may be preferable to designate your estate as the beneficiary so these proceeds are administered according to the terms of your Will.
  • Financial assets should be comprehensively listed. Be sure your Executor and/or survivors know where to find this document.
  • An estate plan becomes even more essential if you own a business, are divorced, are part of a blended family, have disabled dependents or are responsible for the care of elderly or minor relatives.

As Prince’s legitimate heirs unfortunately discovered, estate planning now avoids difficulties and costs later. To do it properly, you’ll need a lawyer and accountant, and an advisor who can harmonize your estate plan with your overall financial plan and keep everybody in tune with your wishes for your legacy.

— Joanne Kirk, CFP (r), FCIP, EPC
Financial Consultant
Investors Group

  Posted: Tue Jan 7th 2020 1:00pm  2 years ago

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