It was reported on the news recently that some of Aretha Franklin’s family members have found what they believe to be her will. It was handwritten, stained and crumpled up in a couch. The courts may or may not choose to honor it, depending on whether or not they are able to verify its authenticity.
The wife did not have a durable power of attorney authorizing her spouse to act as her agent in selling the property and now apparently lacked the capacity to sign one.
If asked to be a trustee, anyone, unless previously experienced in this field would not know what the responsibilities are. How much work is involved? What is the time frame? Do I need to prepare tax returns and handle accounts? Can I get help? When do my responsibilities end?
As a small business owner, you have worked incredibly hard to make your business a success. What began as an idea is now, due to your vision and hard work, a successful business.
Does anyone have a crystal ball that I could borrow? Wouldn’t it be nice to know what our future looks like, so we could be better prepared—but on the other hand, maybe not?
If you haven’t checked your estate plan in recent years, now may be the time.
No matter what line of work you are in, estate planning has facets that apply to everyone, and it comes down to documenting wishes and avoiding probate and unnecessary taxes. Too many people put it off, but, in general, the sooner you do it, the better.
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