I grew up around music–it’s in my blood. Music has gotten me through hard times and has made the good times that much better. In fact, if you come to the Firm on any given day, it is likely you will hear music playing. Aretha Franklin has been a constant voice in the soundtrack of my life. Her impressive career spanned over six decades, and she will go down in history as one of America’s greatest and well-known voices. I am most crazy about Aretha’s remakes. NO ONE could remake a song and make it their own like Aretha. What an instrument and what a gift! Here is one of my favorite remakes by Aretha. And yes, there is “legal” a point to this blog.
Recent reports allege the Queen of Soul died without a will. Accordingly, Aretha’s estate, which is estimated to be worth $80 million, will pass through the laws of intestacy. Under Michigan law, that means it will be split evenly amongst her four sons. While that may seem logical, it gives no consideration to the fact she left behind a son with special needs that will need continuing care and support for the rest of his life. It also means the Court will place someone in charge of her estate. And most upsetting, we will never know if these were indeed Aretha’s wishes.
Aretha dying without a will is surprising but not completely shocking. Many of my clients put off estate planning. I get it, contemplating your incapacity and death is not the most joyous of exercises. In fact, it can be downright uncomfortable. It causes you to consider a parade of horribles that can be unsettling and take you on an emotional rollercoaster.
That said, it HAS to be done. You work hard to build your legacy and you owe it to your family and loved ones to leave a detailed plan that will allow them to mourn and honor your wishes without the guesswork. This is especially so when you have loved ones that require additional support and assistance.
While the thought of starting the process may seem daunting or saddening, I promise you there you will have a great feeling of relief once you know you have taken care of such a major component of your life and you have clearly set forth your wishes.
The Law Firm of Jaburg Wilk assists clients in creating comprehensive and individualized estate plans that clearly articulate their wishes. Attorney Alejandro Perez has been involved in the special needs community for almost all his life. As a result, the Firm works regularly with families who require some sort of special needs planning. You can count on us to make the process as seamless as possible.
Don’t put something off for tomorrow because tomorrow is not promised. We want to partner with you through this sensitive process and make sure you have a detailed plan for the future.
I will close this out with another one-of-a-kind Aretha remake.
About the Author: Alejandro Pérez is a partner at Jaburg Wilk. Fully bilingual, Alejandro assists employers of all sizes with labor and employment law issues. In addition to representing clients in litigation, Alejandro provides advice and counsel on HR decisions; conducts sensitive workplace investigations; drafts and reviews employment policies, handbooks, and agreements; and trains workforces on a variety of aspects of employment law.
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