Are You Prepared for the Unexpected?
I along with so many others were saddened to learn that Chadwick Boseman passed away back in 2020. I was even more sad and shocked to learn that he did not have a will or trust in place. There’s a part of me that assumed, expected even, that a man in his position would have had a plan in place regardless of his health condition. It is apparent he was somewhat forward thinking because he married his long-term girlfriend prior to passing away. In doing this, he made sure she would be taken care of after he passed away. However, he was still human and for whatever reason, when he passed he did not have a will or trust in place. As a result, it has taken 2 years to resolve his estate. In addition to this, the state of California made over $1 million off of his labor and earnings during life. Thankfully the estate is large enough that there is still a substantial amount left for his wife and parents to split. However, their portions will also be reduced by the amount they have or will pay in attorney’s fees.
What does this have to do with Me?
If you’re thinking, boo hoo, so sad for them they still have money; what does this have to do with me? Trust me I get it. However, although the amount of money may be much higher than you or I currently have, it’s still relevant to all of us. As sad as his passing was, Chadwick Boseman’s life and death are still examples to follow. I admire the things I know about him during life and how he carried himself, but also see the lesson in the lack of planning for after he passed. Although we may not have the money or status of Chadwick, we still have the right, privilege and duty to make a plan for life and after death.
Imagine if you or someone in your family dies without a will or trust in place?
Do you have the funds to front the cost of probate?
Can you or the family financially survive two years waiting on the estate to be resolved?
Is there a plan in place to provide or continue providing for elderly family members, minor children, household expenses?
These questions aren’t meant to scare you, but to get you to start thinking. We all have a legacy, whether it’s tangible or intangible. What are we doing to protect it? Chadwick’s legacy is not erased solely because he did not have a will in place, but there was certainly some avoidable stress added to the grieving process due to lack of planning. Despite the amount of time, the process was very amicable unlike many other situations. Of course the process of settling his estate has been played out in public because of who he was. However, there are countless other families dealing and/or struggling with the same thing in private due to a lack of planning or worse; lack of communication. I have dealt with families struggling to figure out what their loved one wanted because no one knew there was an estate plan until years later. Planning is great, but it is pointless if you don’t share the plan with anyone.
As I write this, I am thinking about updates I need to make to my own plan as my life looks different today than it did a year ago. Just as life is always lifing and changing so must we. Please take some time to think about how you want to live and how you’d like life for your family and friends to be after you pass away. Life is full of ups and downs and unexpected curves; do what you can to be prepared.
Schedule a consultation to get started on discussing or creating a plan for yourself, today.Tags: estate planning, Trusts, will