“Deeply private in life, Aretha Franklin’s estate will be laid bare for all to see, as according to court documents, she died without having a will or trust in place.”

Aretha Franklin’s net worth is estimated at $80M and the State of Michigan will decide how it’s distributed and anyone who wants to can read about EVERYTHING!  Who owns her image, her voice, her royalties?  When we don’t put a written plan in place, we lose control over everything.

Additionally, while the State of Michigan does NOT have an estate tax (unlike MA), the Federal government can take a 40% bite out of over $65M of that gross estate.  To satisfy that debt, property will have to be sold, perhaps contrary to what the Queen would have wanted.  Perhaps not all, but much of this could have been avoided with the proper planning (trusts, LLCs, Partnerships, etc.).

As always, celebrities provide extreme examples.  Most of us won’t be anywhere near $80M, but the concerns and pitfalls are the same.




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