Did Prince Actually Make a Bad Estate Planning Decision?

In case you didn’t know, my wife and I just had our third kid, Dillon Steven Small, on May 2, 2016 at 8:29 a.m. You would think this would be a joyous occasion for all.

But it wasn’t necessarily so.

See, we had a c-section for Dillon, just like we did with all of our other kids. That’s just the way things shook out.

And some people didn’t like that.

They thought natural birth was the only choice to make for the baby’s health, the mother’s health, and for a whole host of other reasons.

And some thought we should be having the kid at home.

And some thought that we should be at a different hospital than we chose.

But none of that really mattered to me. Not one single bit.

Why? The way we decide to bring our kid into the world is our decision and our decision alone.

If you don’t like it, I don’t care.

Did Prince Actually Make a Bad Estate Planning Decision?

Now, you might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with the death of Prince and the fact that he died without a will?

How does his estate planning decision relate in any way to my decision about how we delivered our kid?

Simple. The way we decide to divide our assets, promote our legacy, pass down our beliefs, stories, values, and traditions is our decision and our decision alone.

Estate planning is a lot like child birth in that way.

We all have decisions to make, and each and every one of those decisions is unique and personal to you and your family situation.

Article after article about the death of Prince and his estate planning decisions describes the situation as dire and unfortunate.

They talk about the fact that Prince is giving away a substantial portion of his estate to the government (which he is).

They talk about the difficulty involved with figuring out the value of his estate moving forward and determining who will be in charge of licensing his work and distributing yet unreleased work (it will be).

But what if this is exactly what he wanted to have happen?

I haven’t heard anything to the contrary, yet everyone assumes Prince didn’t make this decision intentionally.

What Can Prince Teach You About Estate Planning?

Whenever people come into my office to talk about estate planning I always tell them “you already have an estate plan in place. Let me tell you what happens with that plan and maybe that’s okay with you right now.”

I must say that no one yet has ever been okay with the government’s plan for them (but there may be some bias there since we are having the conversation in an estate planning lawyer’s office) but some people are.

The important thing when it comes to you and your plan is that you are doing what you want to do,

That you are making choices based on your own family values.

That you are making choices based on what’s important to you, and nothing else.

And if you want a plan that’s different than what the government has set up for you, give me a call.


Christopher Small

P.S. Do you have kids? Have you completed guardianship paperwork? Have you done it correctly? Click here to find out what happens if you don’t do anything: Are you okay with a judge choosing the guardians of your children?

P.P.S. Do you own a business? Do you have a plan so the business, and your family, can survive if something happens to you? If not, click here to learn how simple it is to protect your business and your family from tragedy: 5 Ways to Protect Your Business from Catastrophic Failure.

P.P.P.S. Do you have no kids and think you don’t need an estate plan? Single and think a will is only for married couples. You couldn’t be more wrong. Click here to learn more: 5 reasons estate planning is a must have even if you don’t have kids.

Christopher Small is a Kirkland estate planning attorney who helps people get rich and live forever. He is also the owner of CMS Law Firm LLC.