The recent passing of music legend Prince serves as yet another reminder to get your estate plan in place. As reported in the press, Prince’s sister has filed papers with the Court alleging that her brother died without a will. Dying without a will in place is called “intestate.” You can find my summary of Indiana’s intestate laws, here and here. The intestate laws act as a default estate plan, and very likely may not include all of your intentions.
In Prince’s case, it has been widely reported about his great business abilities and his strong desire to be in control of his music and his public image. It also appears Prince was generous and was a benefactor to many charitable organizations. If Prince truly did not have a Last Will & Testament (and this remains to be seen), then his great desire for control over his art and his charitable intent will not be realized now that he has passed. A true loss of opportunity for his great legacy.
For the rest of us, this is a reminder that it is never too early to plan and make sure our intentions will be followed.