Controversial singer Amy Winehouse is in the news again. She died last summer as a result of alcohol poisoning. After battling drug and alcohol addiction for many years, she appeared to finally be winning the battle when she unexpectedly died at age 27. Her estate has now been settled. Probate records show that she left behind property worth £4,257,580 (approximately $6,700,000).
It appears that Winehouse never bothered to do any estate planning because she died intestate (without a will). As a result, the courts decided how to distribute her property. In this case, it went to her parents, Mitch and Janis Winehouse. However, by the time the probate process was complete and the government and creditors took their share, the estate was reduced to £2,944,554 (approximately $4,660,000).
Every adult should do some estate planning no matter his or her age. Failure to plan means that the courts decide what happens with your property. Having Winehouse’s parents receive her estate may seem like a reasonable result, but she may have wanted to give something to her brother, her ex-husband (who she reportedly still loved-despite his drug use and prison sentence), or to charity. In addition, proper estate planning could have reduced the amount Winehouse lost to taxes or debts.
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The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down. The attorneys also help those in Arizona to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
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This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.
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