Updated: Apr 25
By Denise Renée Purdie
I debated about calling this blog post "where there's a Will, there's a way," but that was kind of long!
So, the topic for this blog post is Estate Planning. Now even though I don't have any fiduciary responsibilities since I'm not in this field, I have to put in a disclaimer that I am not a trained or licensed professional in this area. However, I do have an abiding interest and someday I may decide to study this area of law. Another area that aligns with my business is the area of copyright and also patents and trademarks.
It's funny because my Mom often suggested that I should become an attorney. I countered that she should do so because getting paid to argue was right up her alley! I guess if I ever become an attorney, I will have to apologize and say that she was right. We always used to laugh and say we had to mark it on the calendar because we didn’t particularly like the other person to be right because that meant we were wrong. 😆🤣😂
But back to what started this blog post … I was reading an article about a potential $340 million prenup between Adele and Rich Paul. It started me down the rabbit hole of looking at celebrities who have not taken care of estate planning.
It always sounds weird to me when I hear about a celebrity who does not even have a Will. Now many “ordinary” people don’t have Wills … and I don’t know if it’s because they don’t want to think about their mortality or simply that they feel like they don’t have enough “real” property or assets to make it worth bothering, or they feel it’s too expensive. I don’t think celebrities would be in the latter two categories so I just don’t get it.
Having been the Executor over two estates, all I know is, the responsible thing to do is at the very least not leave debts to your family and to have enough life insurance to cover your funeral services. It is stressful enough losing a loved one without having to stress about money to cover the services. Beyond that, if you don’t transfer your assets in an orderly fashion, your family has to come up with money for probate and they typically have to wait about two years for the assets to be available to them. That’s a long time.
So I’m not going to go into the nitty-gritty, as you should contact an attorney, but generally speaking you should be able to transfer your real estate property to someone else either during your lifetime or immediately upon your demise so it doesn’t have to be probated. Also, putting someone as beneficiaries on your bank and investment accounts is something you should think about.
Also consider writing down your passwords to important online accounts, including ones you probably haven’t thought about like Facebook so people can notify people of your passing and also utility accounts and whatnot so people can close those down efficiently. For people who are authors, you should also consider adding someone as a beneficiary for your royalties and you should certainly share your password information just in case banking details need to be updated. For entrepreneurs, there's a whole other level of ways to create generational wealth, but I'll leave that to the experts.
Having a health directive is also important. Someone should know what your wishes are in case of an accident or some type of illness. It takes some of the stress off of them to not have to guess what your wishes would be.
In many states you can make a holographic Will which doesn’t require a lot of going back-and-forth but getting a professional involved in creating a Will is probably a good idea if you don’t have any familiarity with the types of documents or language involved in creating a Will. A Trust is an option, although I have very limited knowledge of those so definitely contact a professional to see if a Will or a Trust is best for your particular situation.
Either way, sorting out your estate planning is crucial. It’s an investment in peace of mind for your family and it’s something that responsible people should take care of. I have been known to tell people that I’m not interested in having bake sales or fish fries to cover people’s services and I stand by that. Please take care of at least your funeral expenses. Your family deserves that.
Renée / Ms. Rising Star 💫 💫💫