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According to the news Aretha Franklin died without a Will and simply, like many people, kept putting it off. Other musicians that also failed to make a Will include Prince, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley.  Don Wilson, a Los Angeles lawyer who worked for Franklin for nearly 30 years said “I tried to convince her that she should do not just a will but a trust while she was still alive…She never told me, ‘No, I don’t want to do one.’ She understood the need. It just didn’t seem to be something she got around to.”

It looks like her estate will be split between her four sons according to the equivalent intestacy laws in the US. This may not reflect her wishes and there may be people she wanted to receive some of her assets that now won’t.  By making a Will it usually means it is harder to challenge the deceased’s wishes and others are more likely to R-E-S- P-E-C-T them.

Planning what you want to happen to your assets, both during your lifetime and after you pass away, can provide you with a huge sense of relief once you have taken that step.  Initially it might feel like you are rolling in the deep. However professional advisors will guide you through and it won’t be long until you have peace of mind.

I say a little prayer when a client has made amends with a relative that perhaps they previously excluded from their Will. We live in ever changin’ times and your Will should too. Your Will should get a regular review, I usually say on any new birth, death, relationship or marriage, just for starters.

If you would like to review your Will or if you haven’t made one before please call me or contact our Wills and Estate Planning Team on 01256 320555. If you quote this article we can offer you a complimentary 30 minute appointment to see me or one of my colleagues in the Wills and Estate Planning Team.

Helen Beach

Did you spot any references to Aretha’s songs? Please comment below with the number you have identified…

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