Our affairs, it seems, have ways of going on without us when we die, frequently creating unintended churning for families and friends. Though most of us don’t have the accumulated wealth of celebrities, a peek into their affairs is an eye-opening reminder to organize our own.
Certainly, no one hopes to leave their loved ones spinning—or worse, in conflict. Sadly, it happens—frequently. Recent examples from the affairs of famous people give us plenty of motivation to tackle our own estate planning imperatives.
Although Aretha Franklin died in 2018, the affairs of her estate, estimated at around $80 million, are still churning. It seems that taxes (a lot) are owed. Meanwhile, multiple wills have been found, creating conflict between heirs as they argue which documents should be probated.
When Kobe Bryant died suddenly and tragically in 2020, his estate was worth $600 million. He did have an estate plan but had not updated it after the birth of his baby daughter. Because of this, his trustees had to petition the court to correct the oversight—which made the terms of the trust public, something Kobe had not intended.
Founder of Zappos, Tony Hseih also died suddenly and tragically in 2020, leaving a trail of mystery. His estate is valued at $850 million—but there is no will. With property and assets in several states, and a pile of post-it notes, who knows when his affairs will be laid to rest.
On the other hand, have you heard anything about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s estate, valued at $5-7 million? Probably, as Law Professor notes, the quiet is a sign that she had gotten her affairs in order—in a “no news is good news” way.
Though we all know estate planning, aka “putting our affairs in order,” is something we should do, many of us don’t, inadvertently setting off a lot of confusion and even conflict. Advance preparation is truly a gift. Looking at the lives and deaths of the famous, Law Professor draws these lessons for all of us:
- Make an estate plan
- Update your estate plan
- Minimize family disputes and honor your promises
- Avoid unnecessary administrative expenses
- Honor charitable giving, and
- No news is good news.
As you set your course for action, don’t be put off by the word estate just because It may conjure rolling hills and giant mansions—which most of us don’t have. But generally, we do have estates. As Investopedia explains:
An estate refers to everything of value that an individual owns—real estate, art collections, antique items, investments, insurance, and any other assets and entitlements—and is also used as an overarching way to refer to a person’s net worth. Legally, a person’s estate refers to an individual’s total assets, minus any liabilities.
What is an Estate Bond and How Can You Obtain One?
An estate bond is a type of fiduciary bond: it guarantees the beneficiaries that the estate will be administered in accordance with state law. Although often waived by families during the process of creating the will and naming an executor to administer it, estate bonds can help inspire the confidence of everyone involved. Sometimes they are even required by probate court.
Estate bonds can also be referred to as executor, personal representative or probate bonds. It is quick and easy to obtain any of these bonds from leading, national provider: Colonial Surety Company. Just get a quote online, fill out the information, and enter a payment method. Print or e-file the bond right from your home or office—even while at court. With Colonial’s direct, digital bonds, it’s that simple.
Probate Attorneys: Need a Partner?
Why shuffle around every time courts order bonds? Colonial’s direct, fully digital, user-friendly system reduces the time, hassle and expense typically associated with antiquated bonding processes.
In addition to providing bonds directly to the general public, Colonial Surety Company offers an innovative Partnership Account® for Attorneys. This free business service provides user-friendly client management dashboards, enabling attorneys to easily coordinate, view, complete and e-file the court and fiduciary bonds clients need.
Increase your efficiency—and lower costs for clients. See for yourself today: Partnership Account® for Attorneys.
Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a direct writer of surety bonds and insurance products. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, U.S. Treasury listed, and licensed for business everywhere in the USA.