Did Aretha Franklin do some estate planning after all?

Wills are a central component to most estate plans, but it is also important to update these documents and craft new ones when necessary. However, it should be made obvious which will is the newest, most updated version. When Louisiana residents fail to complete this important estate planning task, they could be leaving behind a significant burden for their families.

When Aretha Franklin passed away in Aug. 2018, her family believed that she had not created any type of estate planning documents. That was until a recent discovery turned up three different handwritten wills. It is not clear when these wills were written or under what circumstances, but they were apparently not located in obvious or easily accessible locations. One of the wills was even found hidden underneath seat cushions.

Franklin's family submitted all three wills to the court. During probate, it will be determined whether any of the three documents have any sort of legal standing. While it might be a relief to get a bit of insight into Franklin's final wishes, it could also be confusing if the wills have conflicting information. Figuring out whether the wills have standing can also be a potentially time-consuming and expensive endeavor.

Some people in Louisiana think that they do not care about what happens to their stuff after they have passed away. Estate planning is about much more than making sure a specific person receives a certain asset, though. Through wills, trusts and other important documents, estate planning can make it much easier for the family members who are left behind to handle a loved one's estate.

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