Friday, July 29, 2011

Planning Can Keep a Tragedy from Turning into a Circus

Anytime someone in their twenties passes away, it's a tragedy. That's the same for Amy Winehouse, regardless of her addiction history. However, from early reports, it appears that proper planning may prevent the tragedy from turning into a legal circus.

Something this article points out is that her estate plan will likely prevent portions of her estate to be awarded to her ex, Blake Fielder-Civil. This is an important point. Most jurisdictions, whether in the US or in another country, have rules about how an estate will be split out when you don't have a will, what we call dying intestate. These rules use assumptions about how most people would want their estate to be dispersed. However, those assumptions may do something that you don't want to do; for example, apparently in the United Kingdom, filter assets to exes. If you know anyone in your life that you want to make sure doesn't receive your estate, meet with a licensed attorney to review the likelihood that person could receive a portion and what you can do now to prevent a circus later.