You better think (think)
Think about what you're trying to do....
Just a quick note to discuss the news this week when it was announced Aretha Franklin's niece filed in probate court to administer her intestate empire of 80 million dollars. Four sons stand to gain and so do a lot more people and entities. The feast will leave a lot less. The United States government will take 40% of the net estate after the lawyers get done feasting on this one most likely for years.
Liquidity may be a problem, as you get only 9 months to come up with the money to pay the IRS the "death tax". Music rights that could payout a huge fortune may be cut short for those sons by low ball offers to the estate in order to come up with the cash to clear it from the big estate death tax. You do get an extension to file, but not to pay what you think you owe.
And it sounds like Aretha tended to ignore billings of attorneys, dentists and the like, so lawsuits that were constant while she was alive and not SOL barred, and new suits, will finally get their money if legitimate. And since she ignored her California lawyer's (Don Wilson) advice to get a trust, the legal bills now will be staggering before it all ends. They say she didn't even leave a Will. Well the state of Michigan (and any other state she has real property in) wrote one for her using their intestate succession laws.
Most of us don't have to worry about the federal death tax that will tax and tear this estate apart and yet, if 1/2 remains when it is all done, each son will still be left standing with about 10 million a piece! Enough to have FREEDOM for a long, long time hopefully. But the sons will become the BLUES BROTHERS as they may have to wait years to be able to slice out their share normally done when the fee and tax feast is over...
We see again, another very popular entertainer who was so busy working she forgot or ignored taking the time to do better estate planning before her death. Read more about it at:
I encourage all who ignore estate planning needs --- it's like teeth. Ignore them and they WILL GO AWAY PRETTY FAST! I respect the unbelievable music and good work Aretha did while alive coming from humble church roots. We have to give her a lot of R E S P E C T for all the good work she did in the world.
But girl, why didn't you stop and THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO TO YOUR ESTATE?
M. D. Anderson