This week I’m sharing a blog from the office of Dave Zumpano, who focuses in Medicaid planning. I’ll be sharing blogs from the office of Dave Zumpano monthly in this space.
Now, here’s the blog from Dave’s office:
Blog Author: The Office of David J. Zumpano, Esq, CPA, Lawyers With Purpose and Estate Planning Law Center
Doves do not cry. Crying as an expression of pain or emotion is a mammalian trait. I know this to be true because on a 6th grade trip to the zoo, dressed in my finest purple, I asked the zoologist. So I am confident in stating that if you owned a raspberry beret and spent any portion of 1986 walking into the grocery store through the out door, you understand the depths of my mourning for the death of Prince.
As a closet follower of all things pop culture, I have listened repeatedly to my Prince playlist and read every article I have run across about Prince since his death. And then, today, it happened. I read an article so blatantly ridiculous, it could not possibly be true. Who would write such an atrocious, fabricated tale, and who would believe it? Turns out the top celebrity magazine in the country wrote it, and based on the 396 comments I saw, everyone believed it. The article has since been edited. Experts in the area have been interviewed and the magazine has fixed its egregious errors. Most likely these errors were discovered when their own attorneys almost fell out of their chairs, as I did. So, I promise that I will not trouble you with the hideous nature of the original article or the depression that sank further into my soul as I browsed reader comments saying they were going to contact their police stations on the subject. I will simply tell you the title of the article, which will provide you with all of the outrage and confusion you need for the day.
Who Will Get Prince’s Millions? Cops Say They Have No Record of a Will for the Late Singer.
Just let that sink in. As promised I will not regale you with the quotes from the original article saying that if no will is filed soon, the property of the singer who died a few days ago may be divided equally between his siblings. I will not bore you with the notion that the word TRUST was in the original article zero times. I will not tell you how the original article relied on police officers for all quotes related to probate administration. (Of course, they did not use that phrase.)
I will simply say this: We have no idea what will happen with Prince’s estate. However, this article and hundreds of others like it do send a clear message that people are being miseducated and misinformed about estate planning and administration by the media.
As elder care attorneys, we need to take seriously this article and the hundreds of comments from readers believing everything they read. Our baby boomers are reaching the age of health issues, and every family is one accident away from a crisis situation. It is our duty to continue to educate our communities through workshops on the truths about wills, trusts and administration. Understanding the importance of protecting their assets for themselves and their children is a duty [elder car] attorneys have to our communities, and I am proud that we do not take that lightly.
And, if you are an elder care attorney, I encourage you continue the workshops you provide to your community giving the tools and knowledge necessary to help make educated decisions about family affairs. And, providing options to attendees will potentially save thousands of dollars when crisis strikes or old age rears its ugly head.
Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M.
Associate Director of Education
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
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- Basics of Estate Planning: Joint, Separate, and Unmarried Trusts - February 1, 2017