The probate process can put family members at odds with each other. Often, families fight over property, how to interpret a decedent's wishes or how to administer an estate. Whether these types of battles are expected or not, they can put immense strain on family members.
The Queen of Soul passed away earlier this year at 76 after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. The music icon died without a will, which creates uncertainty about her estate. There are no directions for handling her considerable assets--an estimated $80 million.
When Aretha Franklin passed away in August following a battle with pancreatic cancer, she joined a list of high profile celebrities who have died without executing a last will and testament. Those other celebrities include Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley. Of course, Prince also died without leaving a will and over two years later the family is still trying to work out the details of settling his estate.
There are numerous legal documents that entrepreneurs would be wise to have in place when they are starting their business. These documents establish rules, business structure, employment policies and myriad other factors that affect the way a company is set up and runs.
If your parent is getting older and you are starting to notice signs of memory problems or dementia, you are likely also starting to worry about his or her future. What will happen if he or she becomes incapacitated? Who will make necessary financial and medical decisions?
Administering a trust is a major responsibility. Whether the party in this role is an individual or an institution, it is crucial that they perform their duties lawfully and in accordance with the settlor's wishes. Failure to do this can have devastating consequences, including a contentious legal battle and removal of the trustee.