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Prince's death causes rise in wills and estate planning actions

Many in Oklahoma and throughout the country feel that one of life's most unpleasant tasks is determining how their possessions and money will be distributed after their deaths. Inherently, estate planning and establishing wills require a person to fully confront his or her morbidity, which is not the way most like to pass their time. However, after Prince's death in April, estate planners have seen a dramatic upswing in will creation.

When Prince passed away, the generation who grew up with his music seemed to feel a similar shock and sadness to that felt by those who grew up in the 1950s when Elvis died. As stories have emerged over the past weeks about Prince's lack of a will, the demand for estate planning service has risen significantly. In the three weeks after his passing, many legal and will preparation websites reported sales increases of 50 percent or more.

In the United States, statistics show that only 67 percent of people over the age of 55 have a will, and that number drops to only 22 percent among those under 55. It is not truly comfortable for most to think about their deaths, but seeing how the lack of a will may result in Prince's estate passing to unintended beneficiaries, many are taking action. Despite common thought, establishing a will can take as little as one day and cost around $2,000.

Those in Oklahoma who want to have a say in how their estates are handled could benefit from discussing their unique situations with attorneys. Those who focus on estate planning and the creation of wills can evaluate a potential client's financial situation and recommend the best options available for the client to protect his or her investments and ensure his or her estate is distributed to the desired people upon his or her passing. In addition, proactively taking this step costs an estate significantly less than a state-direction division of an estate after one's death.

Source: Fortune, "Prince's Death Is Prompting an Uptick in Wills", May 24, 2016

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