When the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin passed away last week, she surprisingly did not leave a will or trust. Franklin’s long-time lawyer admits he asked her to prepare a trust for years, but she never followed his advice. The lack of planning could result in hefty estate taxes, loss of privacy, a significant delay in the administration of her assets, unnecessary court costs and attorney fees as well as family emotional strife.
This predicament is not exclusive to the rich and famous. Anyone who owns real estate is subject to probate without a will or trust. Amazingly, many estates are left without a will or trust and suffer the same fate. Had Franklin simply executed a living trust, the probate process and many of the associated hassles and costs could have been avoided. Assets in a living trust are not subject to probate. By placing the assets in the trust during his or her life, a decedent can take control of who inherits the assets, save his or her family the cost of the inventory process and court proceeding, the delays inherent in probate, and keep the transfer of assets private and not part of the public record. Estate tax planning can also be achieved with proper preparation.
Kelleher & Buckley, LLC is dedicated to helping our clients avoid undue complications and help ensure that their families and executors do not find themselves in an unfortunate position. Please call 847-382-9130 to set up a free consultation with one of our 25+ knowledgeable and experienced attorneys.