One of America’s most famous musicians, Prince, died last week and according to news reports, he didn’t leave a will. His sister confirmed the reports and it will now be up to a court of law to decide who inherits Prince’s millions and property.
My first thought was why another rich person who at 57 wasn’t too old but is old enough to write one, didn’t. Live each day like it’s your last, we’re often told and that especially applies to people like Prince who travel often and are exposed to all kinds of risks given their celebrity status.
Some have died in plane crashes or car accidents on their numerous travels around the world for concerts and appearances, while others succumb to their alcohol or drug addictions and a few have been killed by deranged fans so Prince must have known the dreaded day would come.
How then did he fail to draft a will? Wills are not everyone’s favourite subject, with the exception of those at the receiving end. Unfortunately, it’s one of the first things relatives and friends discuss when someone dies. It’s even more critical when rich people die. There’s an urgency to know how much money the person left and where it can be found.
That’s the sad truth. Most people don’t write wills though. I think it’s because most of us don’t want to die and so we’re not going to sit down and deliberate over who will get what of our assets. Not to sound hypocritical but I don’t have a will either for two reasons.
I’m not rich and I think drawing one up would actually cost me more in legal fees than what I actually own. And like I mentioned earlier, the whole process is just depressing. In the unlikely event that I become a billionaire someday, I will spread the wealth while I’m still alive.
I don’t believe in stashing millions in bank accounts and while I may make a few investments, I really don’t believe in material things. One house is enough. Two at most and perhaps a car and an average size plot of land somewhere. I’m not one of those people who will buy five private jets, yachts and islands even when I can afford it.
I would rather spread the wealth among family and close friends. People always tell me I only say that because I don’t have the money now and that if I did have it, it would change me but it’s just one of those things I know deep down that I will not do.
My family and friends are my life and I have never understood how or why some people are comfortable living luxuriously when their relatives are scrapping. If I could help everyone I know, I would.
I don’t side with relatives who fight over a loved one’s property even before the burial, as happens in many families, but I understand why some feel the need to do so. Think of parents who get neglected by their successful children and vice versa. They are going to grab whatever they can the minute they learn you’re dead.