King-Sized Mistake Could Cost Prince Estate Millions





My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. Given the apparent lack of a will governing the Prince estate, we look at some basics that everyone should do, regardless of portfolio size or income.

The editors asked me for some headline suggestions, and we spitballed a few. Most readers probably don’t realize that writers don’t headline their own column; thats done by the editors, and I appreciate the opportunity for providing input.

I don’t love what the print edition used; here were a few suggestions we kicked around:

– King-Sized Mistake Could Cost Prince Estate $100s of Millions
– I Would Die 4 U (but not before getting a Will)
– You might not have Prince’s ‘Diamonds & Pearls’ — but you should have a will
– You might not have Prince’s ‘Pop Life’ — but you should have a will
– Death is inevitable; we need a plan for it (is the actual header on the inside jump page)

The column suggests 5 simple steps everyone should take to avoid causing confusion and mayhem when you inevitably take your final bow. Have a Will, Use TOD Account titles, have a family meeting, make a financial plan, etc. Its straightforward, but overlooked advice:

Family meeting: Have a conversation with loved ones about all of your intentions — not just about your assets. It’s also about other end-of-life issues. You should have a “living will” for medical directives (i.e., “do not resuscitate” if you don’t want life-prolonging measures), as well as a durable power of attorney for health care (in case you are incapacitated but medical decisions must be made). You can also create a power of attorney for financial matters for those circumstances where you become incapacitated. Determine who will be the executor of your estate and, if you have children under 18, who will become their guardian.”

Sure, its not the most fun family discussion — but its important nonetheless. Do it, and get it over with.



You might not have Prince’s ‘Pop Life’ — but you should have a will
Barry Ritholtz
Washington Post, May 1 2016


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