Music legend Jimi Hendrix was only 27 when he died. It’s always tragic when someone loses his life at such a young age; in Hendrix’s case, his death was also a financial tragedy for his close brother, Leon. Why? Jimi died without a will, and, under California state law, their father, Al, inherited everything. According to Forbes, Al went on to build his son’s musical legacy into an $80 million venture. Then, in his own will, Al cut out Leon and Leon’s family, leaving everything to his own adopted daughter from a later marriage.
“While people often think that only the elderly need to have a will, it is advisable for adults of all ages to have one,” lawdepot.com points out. “Without a will, your wishes will be irrelevant, and the state will decide how to distribute your estate.”
“A will is a legal document that comes into effect on your death. By making a will, you are deciding who should look after your affairs after you’ve died. You also decide who should benefit from the estate and who should not,” Lucy Thomas teaches in accesslegal.com. Yet, according to United Way, more than 60% of people in our country die without a will.
Even young adults without families can benefit from having a Last Will and Testament, continues lawdepot.com. Few young adults are in a position to leave a financial legacy as valuable as Jimi Hendrix’s, you might be thinking. Yet, if there are any special personal possessions or assets you might want to go to particular family members or friends upon your death, with no legal document in place, those heirlooms and mementos might instead be sold at auction with the money going to the government.
Once you’ve drafted the will, it’s important to keep it up to date as your circumstances change. At Geyer Law, we work with individuals of many different ages, and with people who find themselves in some very different situations. We know each case demands very personalized attention and estate planning, beginning with a will!
Where there’s a will, there’s a way to avoid unintended estate consequences!`
By Corrina of Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates