You don’t have to be a celebrity or a multi-millionaire to start thinking about estate planning. However, by the recent headlines regarding Prince’s estate, you can see a clear example of what can go wrong in the absence of any forethought to estate planning.

A Contested Estate

After the death of artist and musician Prince, over 45 people came forward claiming to be one his relatives, in an attempt to get a piece of a more than $250 million state. Here’s the catch – Prince had no will, trust or any estate plan.

As a result, his estate had to go through probate and deal with court proceedings. It took more than a year for the court to decide that the estate would be divided amongst his siblings, a delayed outcome full of stress for the family that could have easily been avoided.

Your Estate Legacy is Not Do-It-Yourself

It certainly did not have to be like this, nor should anything resembling this situation happen to you. It’s a stark reminder to make your own wishes known in advance.

Though you may have a solid idea of how you wish your estate to be distributed, and feel like you may be able to handle it yourself, the devil is in the details.

When it comes time to deal with your estate, your relatives may be blindsided by things you haven’t considered, such as:

  • Complex tax rules
  • Documents that are not legally binding
  • Rules about charitable donations
  • Trusts and other financial instruments to insure proper distribution
  • Ensuring compliance
  • Protection from taxes that may be triggered by distribution
  • Obligations of executors and beneficiaries
  • New regulations
  • Unintended or invalid claimants to your estate


For all of these reasons and more, we do NOT recommend using an “out of the box” solution such as a pre-prepared do-it-yourself websites or packages. Everyone’s estate is different, and you deserve to have a professional come up with the proper plan to ensure your wishes are fulfilled.

An objective look at your estate plan by lawyers and tax professionals can save your relatives years of headaches and preserve your wealth within the family.

Want Help with Your Estate Planning?

Everyone’s estate is different, and we can help you with the accounting side and point you in the right direction for your next steps. PDM’s tax experts can help advise you on the best course of action. Contact us; with our years of technical experience, advanced training, and cutting edge technology, we are your financial partner.