While Aretha Franklin is remembered as an extraordinarily talented musician, she made some significant estate planning mistakes from which we can all learn. When Franklin died in August of 2018, she did not leave a will or any type of estate plan despite having four children, including one with special needs.

If you fail to leave an estate plan, it means that your inheritance will not be distributed in the way that you intended. If you need any type of estate planning assistance, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney.

A Large Number of Americans Die Without Estate Plans

Caring.com released a study in 2017 that found a large number of Americans die without a living trust or will. The most common reason why individuals claim they do not create these estate planning documents is that they simply have not gotten around to it yet. There are many reasons why people delay creating estate plans including the emotional unpleasantness of having to make end-of-life decisions.

Other individuals think that because they do not have a large inheritance, creating an estate plan is not important. In reality, everyone should be concerned about proper estate planning because it is the only way to make sure that any plans you have are fulfilled if you become incapacitated or pass away.

What Happens When There is No Will

If you do not have a will or any type of estate plan, your estate will likely end up in probate court, which means that distribution of your assets will follow a set path that is dictated by established law rather than your personal wishes.

In situations in which  a person has a particularly large estate, going through probate also often means having your estate taxed by the government, while estate planning methods like trusts are capable of avoiding taxation.

How Estate Planning Tools can Help

While there are sites offering free templates to make wills online, the only way to make sure that you draft estate planning documents that will achieve your wishes is to obtain the assistance of a skilled estate planning lawyer. In addition to wills, many people find that it is helpful to create trusts to help to avoid the probate process and the associated taxes.

If you are passing any part of your estate to someone with special needs, you likely also want to establish a special needs trust, which helps you care for the recipient without interrupting payments from Medicaid or Security Supplement Income (SSI).

Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer

The estate planning process can often be complicated, but there are numerous undesired results that can arise if you fail to adequately plan for what will happen after your death. Contact attorney Jim A Lyon today for guidance.

Attorney Lyon has helped many people create end of life plans that achieve their wishes and will remain committed to obtaining the results that you deserve.