It has been revealed late actor Chadwick Boseman died without a will. His wife, Taylor Simone Ledward filed documents in court requesting to be named administrator of the “Black Panther” star’s estate with limited authority, reported Page Six.
Boseman’s estate has an estimated value of $938,500 according to Ledwards filing. The documents also state he is survived by Ledward and his parents Leroy and Carolyn Boseman.
The talented “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” star died at 43 in August 2019 after a very private battle with colon cancer. He and Ledward, who were engaged in 2019, wed secretly at some point later.
News of Ledward’s filing breathed new life into the discussion of why it is important to have a will and trust in order. Here are 3 reasons why estate planning is important even without a lot of wealth.
1. Avoid going to court
In many ways, estate planning is a selfless act because probate court is no fun. It’s already difficult when mourning the loss of a loved one; so, having to go to probate court to settle the deceased’s affairs is an added burden that can be avoided.
“A probate is the process of validating a deceased person’s will and placing a value on their assets, paying their final bills and taxes, and distributing the rest to their beneficiaries,” The Balance wrote.
2. Have your intentions are carried out as intended
Oftentimes wishes verbalized by the deceased become moot when there is no official will, trust or estate plan in place.
“An estate plan is a very personal thing and it’s a reflection of who you were after you died in a sense and how people can think of you,” Tunde Ogunlada of Axial Family Advisors told Jamarlin Martin on the GHOGH Podcast.
When someone dies without one in place, their wishes are left at the whims and mercy of others.
3. Keep it out of messy hands
In the absence of estate planning, things can get messy. and family members often turn to infighting over assets and inheritances.
High profile cases like that of Prince, John Singleton and others show how long things can drag on when one dies without an estate plan in place.
This happen very often in the Black community regardless of wealth or status. “The lack of a will is a social imbalance that affects many black Americans regardless of socioeconomic standing and/or level of fame, as the aforementioned celebrities’ estate issues reveal,” wrote Black Enterprise.
Infighting can led to a significant financial loss as a result of court fees, taxes and other expenses that come along with it.
Not to mention, the overwhelming emotional toll it takes on those left behind.