Drafting an estate plan can be a complicated endeavor. It often involves considering difficult interpersonal relationships, dealing with personal property and deciding who should get what assets. The process of drafting a clear, thoughtful estate plan can be especially difficult for a celebrity. Georgia readers can see that the importance of a clear estate plan is illustrated by the estate of Aretha Franklin, where multiple handwritten wills and disputing beneficiaries have resulted in lengthy court procedures.
At this point, one of Ms. Franklin’s son has asked the court to name him as the executor of the estate. He claims that the person currently handling this responsibility is not handling things in the right way. The executor has also negotiated business deals on behalf of the estate, something that the son alleges was not in that person’s power to do.
The son wants the court to hand over authority and management of the estate over to him. There is a lot at stake. In addition to money, there are Grammys, additional awards and other valuable items owned by Ms. Franklin. At the son’s request, the court has allowed a handwriting expert to examine the three handwritten wills found in her home after her death.
This situation is underscores why good estate planning is so important. Multiple wills, handwritten wills or no will at all can lead to complications that can be difficult for beneficiaries. Georgia readers may want to consider their own estate plans and think about what they can do to have security and protection in the future.