Experts stress importance of drafting a will

Prince leaves an estimated $300 million estate with no will

According to court documents filed by his sister, recently deceased singer Prince left no will for his estimated $300 million estate.

Making his estate more complicated is the fact Prince did not have a spouse or children.

When it comes to people making those types of decisions, lawyers in our area said it’s best to begin planning early.

Brenda Stuhr works at Trust Point helping administer wills and estates. She said drafting a will for herself was a priority.

“(It’s) to have comfort that the assets you have accumulated and worked hard for land in the hands of the people or person you want them to,” said Stuhr.

Estate planning attorney Scott Curtis said there are not as many people drafting wills as one may think.

“A lot of people are just relying on the state laws of Wisconsin for how their assets get distributed once they pass away,” said Curtis.

The Wisconsin law is called intestate, and allows the state to name a beneficiary they believe a person would have chosen, including the spouse and children.

According to Curtis, however, leaving no will can make things complicated.

“Sometimes it can be the big things like money, the house, other times it can be the small things; pictures, a ring that multiple children want, and if you don’t have something in place that designates where all that goes, you can really start squabbling amongst everybody in the family,” said Curtis.

According to Curtis, the process of drafting a will is straightforward and only requires a small amount of your asset information.

“Really it’s just designating your beneficiaries, who’s going to handle your estate, where does your personal property go,” said Curtis.

“They’ll have a template to help walk you through questions and things to consider based on what is applicable in your life at this time,” said Stuhr.

Experts warn against failing to create a will.

“It can be messy,” said Stuhr.

Depending on the type of will and the amount of an estate, completing a will can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months.

Experts said people should look at drafting a will during major points in their life, which includes when someone begins their first job, getting married or having kids.