We just posted an article with the caption, ‘untangling Prince’s estate.’ The use of the verb ‘untangle’ in any of its tenses in the context of probate is just chilling to us.
We do a lot of ‘untangling’ and one of the saddest things about it is that a great deal of it is unnecessary. We’ve posted a bit about Prince’s estate for a number of reasons. First, his death was unexpected. Second, like everyone else we loved his music and were captivated by his … intrigue. Lastly, we knew he was a terrific businessman, smart, independent, unique; so, it was an unpleasant surprise to discover those attributes were not carried over into estate planning.
The Prince estate is, unfortunately, well on its way to becoming the patron saint of messed up probate cases. It has the look of something that could be studied in law school casebooks for generations. That is not a good thing.
‘Untangling’ during the probate process isn’t just about figuring out where assets are. That’s tough enough, even in fairly simple estates. ‘Untangling’ in the context of probate and the absence of a will also means trying – within the laws of the state – to figure out what the deceased wanted. Or would have wanted. Or might have wanted. And to whom.
It’s trying to do all that while some very upset, very unhappy relatives stand by and fret. ‘Untangling’ means uncertainties. Uncertain what and where the assets are, uncertain who the heirs are, uncertain how the assets are to be distributed, uncertain if assets that are best left alone need to be sold to meet the demands of intestate laws.
It’s a stressful, uncertain time that’s totally unnecessary. But it happens, everyday. If it’s happened to you, or you’re worried it’s going to, or you have any concerns whatever, drop us a line or give us a call.
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