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NC and SC Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Saying Goodbye To The Queen

On August 16 we lost an icon. Aretha Franklin was not just a phenomenal singer, she was the undisputed Queen of Soul (and Gospel and Rock and R&B). She was a vanguard of the Civil Rights Movement and her recording of Respect was the unofficial anthem of the women’s rights movement.

We will all miss her, but in the same way, we miss other celebrities who pass on. We will feel a twinge of grief the next time one of her songs comes on the radio, but we will move on with our lives. Others will feel her loss much more acutely. Her four sons — Clarence Franklin, Edward Franklin, Kecalf Franklin, and Ted White Jr. — will undoubtedly miss her the most.

Her four sons, who range in age from 48 to 63, will presumably inherit her estate since she died unmarried and without an estate plan. This inheritance will be both a blessing and a challenge. The sons are of course fortunate they will never have to work another day in their life since they are splitting an estate worth upwards of $80 million. But they will be dealing with the nitty gritty details of settling their mother’s estate for years to come.

This is not an uncommon situation. Most children are called on to help divvy up their parents’ estates after death. And like Franklin, most people do not have an estate plan in place. It frequently takes over a year to sort out even simple estates when there is no estate plan in place.

The best way to ease the burden your loved ones face after your death and shorten the amount of time that they must slog through paperwork instead of focusing on their grief is to make an appointment with an experienced estate planning attorney and execute a custom-made estate plan. We all know this, and yet we avoid thinking about it and delay taking the steps we know we need to take.

When asked about the reason why Franklin did not have a will, one of her long-time attorneys said he repeatedly urged her to draft one. “She never told me, ‘No, I don’t want to do one.’ She understood the need. It just didn’t seem to be something she got around to.”

Aretha did many things and had many qualities that are wise to emulate. But this is not one of them. It’s time for anyone who has not done so yet to get around to making an estate plan.

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Monk Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas.



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| Phone: 803-594-4453
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| Phone: 704-369-9977

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