Reports have revealed that actor Chadwick Boseman didn’t have a will when he died from cancer in August 2020. His widow is currently seeking to be named the administrator of his estate, which she estimates to be worth nearly $1 million. Other celebrities like Prince and Jimi Hendrix have famously died without writing a will. In fact, two-thirds of Americans in a 2020 survey admitted that they didn’t have a will, claiming that it was too complicated or that they didn’t have enough assets to justify writing one.
Why should everyone write a will?
Estate planning can be a complicated and time-consuming process. However, as people have seen with Chadwick Boseman and other celebrities, not having a will can put families in a complicated legal situation. If an individual dies without a will, the court typically decides how their assets will be divided. This often results in assets being divided in a way that doesn’t match up with the individual’s last wishes.
Additionally, dying without a will can result in a lengthy legal battle. Various family members might show up and demand part of the estate, particularly if the individual left a lot of money behind. For these reasons and more, it’s in everyone’s best interests to take stock of their assets and write a will before they die.
In particular, business owners have a lot to gain from writing a will. They can specify in their will how their business affairs will be handled after they die. Some might wish to pass their business on to their children while others might wish to have it liquidated and sold off. They can also choose someone for power of attorney who will make financial decisions on their behalf if they ever become incapacitated.
Where can businesses and individuals go for assistance with estate planning?
An estate law attorney may help businesses and individuals with the planning process. An attorney might help their clients choose someone for power of attorney, draft a legally binding will and decide how their business should be handled after their death.