Aretha Franklin’s wasn’t. Prince’s wasn’t. Pablo Picasso’s wasn’t.
When you die and have not listed beneficiaries for your assets or titled your assets in the name of a trust, the courts in your state determine where your assets go.
Many people don’t realize that a will does not avoid probate. A will simply informs the probate court what should happen with any assets that did not transfer by way of joint ownership, a trust or beneficiary designations.
If you have no plan in place for your minor children, and they are left parentless, a judge will decide who will be their guardian.
If your estate goes into probate, it may be quite some time before your beneficiaries receive any money. Are they all going to be able to support themselves in the interim?
Many times, a very simple estate plan can avoid having to subject your heirs to the emotional and financial trauma of an unforced error.
At Sigma, we regularly help clients review their estate plan and determine whether or not that plan is up-to-date and complete. While we are not attorneys, our advisors are often able to determine when a visit to an estate planning attorney is needed.
All comments and suggestions are welcome.
Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA