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Aretha Franklin's handwritten wills may pose problems

Many Floridians may think that it's obvious how they want their assets to be divided upon their death. Even if this is the case, poor estate planning can fail to bring those wishes into reality. Instead, the absence of an estate plan or the presence of a confusing or inadequate estate plan can set families up for internal strife and litigation. This is why competent estate planning is critical from the get-go, and modifications to a plan need to be clear and easily understood.

One can look at the estate of famed singer Aretha Franklin as an example of how estate planning can go wrong. At first, everyone thought that Franklin passed away without a will. Recently, however, three handwritten wills were discovered in her home. Since certain requirements must be met before a will can be deemed legally valid, questions immediately arose as to whether these wills were enforceable.

The results can have a tremendous impact. The will that is utilized to distribute her estate can dictate how assets will be distributed. Additionally, these wills may change the estate's administrator, which means that the estate's assets may be subject to a change in management. This could impact the revenue and debts generated by the estate.

It may be weeks or even months before we know how the story will play out. However, it serves as an example of the importance of crystal clear and holistic estate planning. Florida residents considering the future of their estates may, therefore, want to think about discussing those matters with an attorney who is adept at creating iron-clad estate plans.

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