Aretha Franklin died without a will. Should you? The lack of a will or trust does not necessarily signal probate troubles ahead. But careful planning is critical! Contact us to discuss how we can help you protect your wealth and legacy.

“Following the death of Aretha Franklin, “chicken little” articles abound — but the reality is that the sky isn’t falling.

Having a plan in place and proactively addressing and understanding the options available for management and disposition of assets is optimal. Proactively planning can result in tax savings and even provide various levels of creditor protection for heirs, especially when shares are held in discretionary trusts. However, the failure to have a will, when the decedent desires an outright distribution to children (especially adult children), isn’t necessarily catastrophic. In the case of Aretha specifically, it may also be notable, that the absence of a written instrument doesn’t necessary [sic] mean that no other disposition is in place, as Michigan recognizes oral trusts if the terms can be established by clear and convincing evidence.”

Read more: The Sky Isn’t Falling on Aretha Franklin’s Estate

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