The AP is reporting that Prince’s family has filed paperwork to have a special court administrator appointed to oversee the division and allocation of his estate.
In layman’s terms: the late singer/songwriter/demi-god had no will.
When you’re worth somewhere between $150 and $300 million, that forebodes a very hairy and drawn-out situation for all parties involved.
It should also serve as a gentle reminder to the rest of us to avoid the same mistake. Especially considering the process is caveman-easy to execute.
1. Lawyer up. It’s really easy to make mistakes. Use a pro. If you really can’t afford one, there’s plenty of DIY software available to guide you through the process. Use this guide to pick the right one.
2. Divvy. Choose your beneficiaries, identify your valuables and get to assigning. And don’t forget to choose a guardian for your kids. You should probably ask said guardian first, though.
3. Choose an executor. Aka testator. Aka the person responsible for making sure things are divvied correctly. Again, lawyer up. Or reach out to a bank. Best to use a neutral party here, especially if your kids don’t get along.
4. Sign it. You’ll need witnesses to sign it, too. If you aren’t using a lawyer, familiarize yourself with your state mandates, which vary.
From there, you should also think about filing a living will (instructions on what kind of medical care you desire if you’re not in a state in which you’re able to make a decision) and continuing to update your will periodically as the value of your estate — and how much you like your confidantes — fluctuates.
In 95% of things in life, we very much encourage you to be like Prince. This falls under the other 5%.
Seriously: don’t die without a will. It will cause many undue headaches for people you presumably like.
Image via Warner Bros.