We are saddened to hear about the death of Aretha Franklin. According to news reports, she died intestate, meaning that she died without a Will. Oftentimes, when someone dies without a Will, we see family arguments and legal battles arise. We are happy to hear that this is not the case with her family, thus far. A Forbes.com article stated that Aretha Franklin’s four sons are currently getting along and on the same page regarding the probate of her estate, however, keep in mind when there are substantial amounts of money involved, people change.
The article also stated that one of her sons, Clarence, has special needs and an appointed Guardian/Conservator. This could become a problem when distributing the estate funds to Clarence. In Texas, if the correct trusts and estate planning documents are not in place for a person that has special needs and a guardian, the Court will have no other option but to get involved. Court supervision is costly and time consuming and can tie up funds needed to support Clarence.
Aretha Franklin’s death is an example of why it is imperative that you get your estate plan in order if you have a child or loved one with special needs. Protect your family by working with a qualified estate planning attorney.