There are numerous stories of stars dying without an estate plan in place. It puts their families in a difficult situation as they seek to determine ownership of assets the deceased owned and the future income they would generate.
Yet, it is not just famous people who fall prey to this oversight. Many ordinary people do not have an estate plan in place either, and that could create problems for their families, too.
If you die without an estate plan, the court will distribute your assets according to state intestacy law. If you would rather decide who gets the assets you leave and how they can treat them, then it’s time to make an estate plan.
How can you protect the income you are yet to earn?
Most people think estate planning is about the assets you already own. But it can also protect future income. While you might not have image rights worth millions or rights to a hit song that will generate sales for years to come, there’s a good chance you have something that could generate future income for your family after you die.
It might be a rental property you invested in, a business you set up or a novel you wrote but have not yet published. Whatever it is, and however small that future income might be, estate planning can help ensure any money it generates goes to the right people.
If the people you choose are not ready to handle the assets themselves you can use your estate plan to put someone else in charge until they are. For example placing your rental property in a trust to prevent your immediate heirs from selling it, so that future generations can benefit from a regular yearly payout. Or stipulating that someone else must run the business until your child turns 30 and that it will not pay your child dividends until then in order to encourage them to work hard to make their own way in the world.
Learning more about estate planning options can help you create a plan that people will look back on with satisfaction in years to come.