By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney
Having been an estate planning attorney now for 20 years, I’m always on the lookout for interesting news and stories that I can use as an example to help my clients avoid serious problems when it comes to their own estate planning. The most recent story that I’ve learned of that is interesting and helpful is that of Aretha Franklin, who was known as the queen of soul.
Aretha Franklin died of cancer in August of 2018 at the age of 76. Her longtime personal attorney stated that he had been after her for a number of years to get her estate planning done including a written will. She was extremely private about her own finances and never consulted her personal attorney about getting her estate planning done. In fact, shortly after her death it was reported that she had no estate planning completed and that her estate would have to be distributed pursuant to the intestate laws that applied. However, it’s recently come to light that she did in fact have a written last will and testament. In fact, it appears that she had three of them. The problem is, that none of these Wills was created by a lawyer.