People in Nevada could learn from the estate planning woes currently being experienced by the family of the late Aretha Franklin. Initially, reports were that the singer, who died in 2018, did not have a will. Since then, three different wills have been found. All three wills were handwritten, and all have been submitted to the court. It is unclear whether the court will consider any of them valid.
Handwritten wills are best avoided. While there are DIY estate planning packages available, working with an attorney can help ensure that a will and any other related documents are prepared correctly. This could save money in the long run since it may be costly for heirs if estate planning documents are invalid. An estate owner should also review their will periodically to make sure it is still current and consistent with beneficiary designations, trusts and other estate planning documents.
Loved ones should know where the will is located. One of Franklin’s wills was found beneath a cushion. The will creator should also talk to loved ones about the estate plan. This helps family members understand their wishes. In Franklin’s case, the family is still unsure of what her wishes were.
Creating a last will and testament is an important part of an estate plan, but there are other important elements as well. For example, an estate owner may want to draw up powers of attorney for health care and finances. These documents appoint agents to take over medical decision making and finances in cases of incapacitation. Furthermore, trusts can be useful in many situations. An attorney could help a client develop a thorough estate plan.