Woodland Hills residents have likely heard for years how important it is from them to not put off their estate planning. The risk one assumes by not having any certified documentation outlining his or her final wishes is that a veritable ‘open season’ may ensue among those who claim to be interested parties to his or estate. In some cases, those interests may go beyond the tangible assets included in an estate. If it also contains properties, original works, or even name recognition that could be of value, then those associated with the estate may also want to try an exploit them, as well. Without the proper estate planning documents, there may be little that can be done to stop them from doing so.
Currently, 17 states have laws on their books prohibiting people from profiting off of an apparent association with a decedent without permission. Minnesota may soon join their ranks. Legislation was just recently introduced to the state’s House of Representatives that would give added control of a person’s likeness, name, voice, and image to his or her estate for 50 years following his or her death. The bill is has been formerly named ‘The Prince Act’ after the later rocker who passed away late last month. His case alone may serve to demonstrate the need for such legislation. The musician apparently left no will, and since his death as many as 700 different people have come forward claiming a right to his estate.
While state’s may enact laws that give added protection to those estates that truly need it, one can avoid having to rely on the legal system to disperse his or her assets by beginning the estate planning process right now. Such a process may be more effectively managed with the help of an attorney.
Source: NME.com “Prince estate dispute inspires new legislation in Minnesota” Britton, Luke Morgan, May 10, 2016