Documents filed by her four sons in Oakland County Probate Court on Tuesday acknowledged the absence of a will and named themselves as parties interested in her estate. The relevant clause reads: “The decedent died intestate and after exercising reasonable diligence, I am unaware of any un-revoked testamentary instrument relating to property located in this state….” Additionally, Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Owens, asked to be appointed as the estate’s personal representative.
~WealthManagement.com August 24, 2018
I don't know the minute details of this situation, but here's what I do know. Aretha Franklin had a net worth of $80 million. And I'd be willing to bet some of that was in real estate and stocks. I will also bet that she did not do her own taxes. Furthermore, she had lawyers handling her music rights and royalties.
Did Anyone Say Anything?
So are we to believe that NONE of these other advisors ever even casually mentioned to Ms. Franklin that she ought to have some estate planning put in place? Wouldn't she want to know that her privacy would be nixed upon death and her heirs' rights would be in jeopardy because she had not done sufficient estate planning? According to the story, one advisor, her entertainment lawyer was "after her for years" to get a trust. But it's not enough to keep telling someone.
Telling Isn't Enough
A true comprehensive advisor doesn't just tell, they make it happen. She may have had stock brokers, insurance agents and accountants who all called themselves her advisors. But all of these people failed to provide her advice and more importantly, make and follow through on an action plan to establish an estate plan. A true advisor is a jerk when need be.
The Lesson for Us
You may have many advisors, but do you have one go to planner who coordinates all of the people who provide service to you? Wouldn't it be a great idea if all of your advisors sat down at a table together and worked cooperatively to make sure your plan had no holes and was maximized to give you the best possible chance to achieve your goals? For most people however, this isn't happening right now. You will be much better off when it does.
Learn more about having everyone work together for you by clicking HERE.