A newsflash just came across my desk: Aretha Franklin, despite urgings from her attorney over a number of years, died without a will or a trust.
The courts in Detroit will determine the disposition of her considerable assets and future royalty income. While this may sound unbelievable, it is estimated that more than 60% of Americans lack wills or estate planning (AARP). Estate planning is NOT just for the very affluent. Don't let the courts decide on the disposition of your assets. The cost of probate can easily exceed the cost of drawing up a will, trust, Power of Attorney and Health Care proxy. Stuck on who to name as trustee? Executor? Those named now can easily be changed if your needs change. Make sure all your assets are titled to agree with the language in your wills and trusts.