Readers in Michigan have likely heard about the untimely death of Whitney Houston. While the death of the great pop star is certainly a tragedy, it has served as a reminder to everyone, young and old, of the importance of a well-crafted estate plan.
According to reports, Houston's personal will names her 18-year-old daughter as the sole beneficiary of the singer's estate. The size of Houston's estate is currently unknown, but it is speculated to be considerable.
One would hope that Houston set up a trust for her 18-year-old daughter, since allowing a young person to inherit a lump sum worth millions may create as many problems as it solves. Managing a large estate could prove to be too difficult for someone so young, and a trust for Houston's daughter could give the inheritance some needed structure.
Similarly, concerns were raised as to whether Houston updated her estate following her divorce from R&B artist Bobby Brown. After all, when a significant or life-changing event such as divorce occurs, it is always important to update documents such as wills, trusts and insurance forms. The unexpected can happen anytime, and it is important to be prepared.
Most people do not expect to pass away at the young age of 48, as Whitney Houston did, but understanding that the unexpected can happen is a good reason for Michigan residents to either begin an estate plan or review an existing one. A properly planned estate could be of great solace to a family coping with the loss of a loved one, as well as help ease the potentially trying process of probate court.
Source: Investment News, "Whitney Houston: Estate planning lesson in a sad, untimely death," Liz Skinner, Feb. 29, 2012