Wills and Estate Planning

Why Do I Need A Will? - Lessons from Hollywood

It is difficult for some to stop and plan for life after they are gone. Just look to Hollywood for examples of untimely deaths that left estates hanging in the balance.

Why Do I Need A Will? Lessons from Hollywood

Facts to determine if you need a will

There are two crucial facts to bear in mind when determining whether or not you need to create a will.

  • Fact one: If you have an estate, you need a will.
  • Fact two: Everyone has an estate.

Your estate is comprised of everything that belongs to you, including possessions, bank accounts, your home, retirement funds and so on. Whether your estate is large or small is not the point. The question is, what would you like done with it after you die?

In the following FAQ, let's find out what happened to celebrity estates when their owners died intestate: that is, without a will.

What happens if you die intestate?

If you don't have a will, it falls to your family to determine how to divide up your estate. This process can get complicated and emotional, to put it gently. Salvatore Phillip “Sonny” Bono died without a will according to People.com. Subsequently, there were several claimants: his widow, ex-wife and even a “love child.”

If there are relevant laws in your area, those will also steer the process. When Stieg Larsson (author of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) died, Swedish law dictated that his assets go to his father and brother, leaving nothing to his girlfriend of 32 years.

How long can an estate battle last?

In the case of Jimi Hendrix, the dispute went on for more than 30 years, according to Legalzoom.com.

How much could the dispute cost?

Legalzoom.com also reports that it cost $30 million to divide Pablo Picasso's artwork, homes, cash, gold and bonds among his six heirs. Regardless of the value of your estate, you can expect the legal fees to be significant.

At what age should I make a will?

The answer to this question is: How old are you now? While we often think of estate planning as something to do after you retire, that assumption couldn't be further from the truth. We never know what each day will bring. Why not be ready for anything?

How often should I revisit my will?

It's smart to review your will every time you have a major life experience, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, a big change in your assets, or a change in a beneficiary's assets.

While the examples above are drawn from the rich and famous, we hope it's clear that you don't have to be famous or wealthy to need a will. If there's anything in your possession that you care about - especially if you're a parent - a will is essential.

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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax‐related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

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Why Do I Need a Will

Why do I need a will? You want to ensure all that you have worked so hard for in life goes to those you love the most. For this reason, creating a will is of the utmost importance. A will makes sure that your wishes are met and your estate is not being help up or contested.

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