When you die without a plan in place, your wishes regarding all that you leave behind are unrealized. You do not have any say in what happens to any of the property or financial assets, and those you leave behind can find themselves in possession of assets that they do not know what to do with.
The Swedish musician, DJ, and record producer Avicii, otherwise known as Tim Bergling, died April 20, 2018, and during his life, he did not create an estate plan, outlining his wishes and what to do with the tens of millions of dollars that he earned during his Grammy-nominated career.
During the course of his life, Avicci was charitable and donated millions of dollars for various charities, including his 2012 tour called “House for Hunger,” in which he donated all of his income from the tour to Feed America.
However, because of the fact that he did not have an estate plan in place, Swedish laws gave Avicci’s parents his wealth, under the probate laws of Sweden.
Because of his charitable nature, it is speculated that his wishes regarding his estate may have differed from what ended up happening to his assets. However, because he did not have a plan in place, his wishes no longer legally matter.
This is why it is important to contact an elder law attorney who understands the ins and outs of estate planning and can work with you to meet your unique needs. No matter what size your estate may be, your wishes matter, and without a plan in place, they, like Avicii’s will not be legally realized.
Loved ones and estate plans
Having an estate plan is not just for you. Your loved ones need a legal outline of your wishes, and if you have specific loved ones in mind that you would wish to provide for after you have died, it is important that they are specifically mentioned in a will or trust.
Avicii also was survived by two brothers and a sister, but because they were not specifically mentioned in a simple will or trust, they directly will not be provided for by the estate.
While it is uncomfortable to contemplate your mortality, you and your family need to be prepared for the uncertainty that the future provides. Not only does that include meeting with your elder law attorney and creating an estate plan to fit your unique needs, but that also means having the uncomfortable conversation with your loved ones, regarding what is in the estate plan and what your wishes are.
They need to be aware of the details, as well as the timetable of the process. Gaining as much knowledge as possible regarding estate planning, probate, taxes, and the specifics of your estate will prevent future family arguments and give you the peace of mind in the present.
With how long the probate can take, your benefactors need to be aware that what the estate leaves them will not be made available to them, until the process is completed. Additionally, the estate taxes vary, depending on the state, and this also can affect how much money is made available to the benefactors, depending on the legal language.
Rely on your elder law attorney
All of these important details that you will have to keep in mind are indicative of the necessity of having an experienced elder law attorney to help guide you through the arduous process and make sure that your estate plan is not executed improperly after you die.
An improperly executed estate plan could be declared unenforceable under the law, but your elder law attorney can help you choose the best language and clauses to include in your will or other estate planning document, in order to make sure your wishes are executed properly.