There are times when you hear about celebrities passing away without having a solid estate plan in place. It can then be a mad scramble among interested parties who claim to be the “rightful heirs” and an unsavory circus of sorts can ensue that plays itself out in the courts. One of the reasons for this would be the same reason that a lot of people fail to plan for the future: they feel as though they are still quite young and death is a long way off. Therefore, they have a lot of time left before they have to prepare.
The reality is that people are indeed living longer than ever before. The average lifespan in the United States as of this writing is 78.7 years. But this is indeed an average–that is the operative word here. People pass away before their time every day, and no one knows what their future is going to hold. It doesn’t take that much time and effort to get together with an estate planning attorney to make sure that your wishes are carried out and your family is protected should you pass away unexpectedly.
This is something that the singer Amy Winehouse apparently took seriously. The British superstar, a winner of five Grammy Awards, passed away recently at the tender age of 27. She was known for hard living and it could seemed to some that she would be the type of person who would not take good care of her finances. But according to reports that are surfacing in the British press she did indeed have a solid estate plan in place, leaving her $16.4 million fortune to her parents and her brother.
The untimely death of Winehouse underscores the fact that you never know when your time will come, and it demonstrates how important it is to make preparations “just in case.”