Saving Wakanda: Estate Planning Lessons from Chadwick Boseman 

  One of the most undesirable situations in the field of estate planning is a person becoming incapacitated or passing away without the proper estate plans in place. To die intestate means that a person passes away with no legal will. This means that if a person intestate, the distribution of that person’s assets is determined based on New York law rather than any consideration for the needs of the deceased person’s loved ones. 


Tragically, many people die without the proper estate planning tools in place. For example, Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman passed away without a will. Boseman’s case is unique because he filed some estate planning documents, but not enough to fully oversee how his estate was handled. Consequently, the distribution of Boseman’s assets was left to the control of a California probate court to distribute Boseman’s estate which is valued at $939,000. Given the celebrity of Boseman’s film roles, his estate was likely worth much more but passed on many assets to trusts. Curiously, however, wills are often written contemporaneously to wills. Boseman’s story brings to mind why you should ignore some of these common reasons and engage in adequate estate planning sometime soon.


# 1 – To Make Sure Your Children Are Cared For


Who watches your children as well as how assets are passed on to them is an important aspect of creating a will, which can name a preferred guardian as well as a trustee. Understand that if you do not create a will, a court will be forced to make these difficult decisions. Properly created trusts can also make sure that children are not at a specific age until assets are received. 


# 2 – To Articulate What Your Spouse or Partner Receive


If you’re not married and want to make sure that your domestic partner receives certain assets, you must address these terms in a will. If you pass away without a will, you will be viewed as having died “intestate” which means that pre-established New York law will determine how your assets are passed on. 


# 3 – To Avoid Family Discomfort and Stress


Many families end up divided over issues of inheritance. Even if most family members want to avoid fighting, just one challenge can make things difficult. It becomes a significant debate if you haven’t addressed it, which is why it is critical to absolutely avoid any potential disputes by creating a will that specifically addresses uncertainties. 


# 4 – To Address Charitable Giving Purposes


You might decide to pass on your assets to certain charities with whose philanthropic principles you agree. If you do, it’s critical to make sure these wishes are fully addressed in your will. Do not assume that your loved ones will remember to pass on your assets in the way you desire. 


Obtain the Assistance of an Estate Planning Attorney

If you or a loved one needs the help of an estate planning attorney, do not hesitate to contact Ettinger Law Firm today for assistance.

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