Retirement Income Toolbox

September 15, 2018

Reading through USA TODAY, the August 29, 2018 edition I ran into an article written by Susan Tompor that relays the importance of having a Will and trust in your game plan to protect your wealth for your beneficiaries.  I wanted to hit some of the highlights and valid points she addressed.

Recently the world has lost another celebrity (Aretha Franklin) and the list of others has quite a few big names on it as well (Prince and many others).  This is not to imply that only celebrities are mourned or of importance when they pass away but rather than to encourage ourselves to take precautions not to make the estate planning mistakes some of these high profile people make.  The mistake of having NO WILL & TRUST prepared prior to their time of passing.

Aretha had approximately an $80 million dollar estate according to and NO WILL & TRUST.  According to this same website, Prince had a $300 million dollar estate and also had no will or trust upon his passing.   Two years after his death, his heirs are still waiting for their portion of his estate.

When you die without a will or trust the state, courts and the lawyers will take over and handle your affairs.  Your creditors will be paid off and assets will be distributed under the law of the state where you lived.  The legal bills will continue to accrues especially when disputes over property and money occur (and they will).

Some celebrities such as Michael Jackson, who passed away at age 50 and had made a will as well as setup a trust for his children.  But this usually isn’t enough.  The Trust needs to be funded correctly or have the assets re titled into it.

If you have taken the time to work hard for many years and set up a retirement game plan for your golden years, its well worth your time to see that your estate is handled correctly and your heirs are stuck in a holding pattern or arguing over your estate.  For those who have a very simple estate, there are online solutions that are very inexpensive.  For those who have a more complex situation and require some planning and attention to details, we suggest you consult a qualified Estate planning attorney to help you prepare these documents.  For our clients who may need assistance with estate planning preparation, we have a strategic alliance partner in Lifetime Legal (


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual estate planning.  Situations discussed are for illustrative purposes only and will be different for each individual’s situation.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized estate planning advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific issues with your financial advisor & a qualified legal & estate planning attorney.

Lifetime Legal and Lifetime Planning are not affiliated with each other or LPL Financial, LLC.  You are under no obligation to use the services of Lifetime Legal, and may choose any qualified professional to provide legal/estate planning services.