Cleaning up personal finances remains one of the top resolutions every New Year. But we all know what happens to most such self-promises, so here’s a month-by-month to-do list to cultivate better financial health…
Another Famous Celebrity Dies Without a Will
When legendary singer Aretha Franklin died of advanced pancreatic cancer at age 76, she did not have a will or trust, according to documents filed in Oakland County Probate Court. And now the $80 million estate of the intensely private Queen of Soul is about to become very public – and possibly very taxing for her heirs.
"The decedent died intestate and after exercising reasonable diligence, I am unaware of any unrevoked testamentary instrument relating to property located in this state as defined under the law,” the form reads.
Aretha’s lawyer of nearly 30 years told the Detroit Free Press that he was constantly asking her to do a trust, but she just never got around to doing it.
"I was after her for a number of years to do a trust," Los Angeles attorney Don Wilson told the Detroit Free Press. "It would have expedited things and kept them out of probate and kept things private."
Wills Are for Everyone
Have you ever embarked on a home improvement project? …One perhaps that you are confident in completing, but unfamiliar with the details. A “how to” clip is usually available on YouTube, but there isn’t a practical way to reach out with follow-up questions. What you may need is guidance from a caring individual.
This is where your local home improvement store comes into play. I usually have good luck with Home Depot. The employees not only know their craft exceedingly well but are excited to share their ideas. I'm always impressed with the greeter at our local store who welcomes guests and can direct them to the exact aisle of the item(s) that they're there to purchase. You can see it in their body language and the sparkle in their eyes when they explain the nuances of a project. Plus, they are happy to share any problems you might encounter and how to sidestep pitfalls.
They are, in one word, educators. What they have taught me and what I’ve learned through various projects in life is a fairly simple concept: “Experience isn’t the best teacher–someone else’s experience is.”