Aretha Franklin and Prince got a lot right in their lives. They were celebrated singers — icons who each defined a genre — and they enjoy immortality through their contributions to music.
But despite all that’s laudable about their lives, there was one thing they both got devastatingly wrong: their legacy. N
either had a will. Prince never had kids, but Franklin is survived by four adult children, one of whom has special needs. As you know, a special-needs heir is particularly vulnerable and depends on a sound estate plan, and it’s important to remind clients why this document is critical for them if they have people who depend on them.
Clients might say these celebrities’ stories don’t apply to them because their estates aren’t worth tens of millions. This is the perfect opportunity to explain that it’s not the amount of money that necessitates an estate plan. Their legacy is how they’re remembered, and part of that is being thoughtful about how their money and personal effects are distributed.
Helping people create their legacy is something I take very seriously. It’s the reason I cofounded LegacyShield, an online legacy planning platform: to encourage people to create a plan for their lives.
When you’re explaining the difference between wills and trusts — and how each serves an important purpose — here are a five points to mention about each.