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No trust for the Prince's ransom

April saw the passing of an icon. Someone so unique and so creative that few realized how far-reaching his words were until his death. And now, with the musical legacy Prince leaves behind, the courts are in a flurry determining what becomes of his estate and his monetary legacy. It has been estimated to be as high as half a billion dollars. Surprisingly, a circuit court judge announced there doesn't appear to be any form of an estate plan to indicate to whom he would like to transition that legacy (and all its trimmings) to.

While Prince did reside just outside of Minneapolis, the probate process that will ensue surrounding his estate could be seen as a perfect example of what not to do, even to Floridians. The utter lack of an estate plan could demonstrate the importance of a will, and moreover, a trust. While a will would give the court a clear idea of who should receive what, and who should look after whom in terms of any minor dependents, a trust would further structure how assets are distributed and could be done in a way so as to minimize taxes.

Now, without a will or trust or any kind of an estate plan, upward of $500 million is left in the court's hands, in a probate process that could take years to figure out.

Even though there are very simple ways to create a will and dictate how you would like your estate disbursed upon your death, if you do not have a Florida estate planning attorney to help you draw up the documents and make room for any provisions, you could be setting your heirs up for a costly and time-consuming probate process.

Source: Wisconsin Public Radio, "Don't Be Like Prince, Have An Estate Plan, Expert Says," Bill Martens, May 3, 2016

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