I remember listening to Aretha Franklin and hearing her undeniable charisma through her soulful voice. I especially loved listening to her tracks on one of the best movie soundtracks of all time, The Big Chill. She clearly was a woman of wisdom. You could tell she was someone who was decisive. She knew what she wanted. The songs play unmistakably in my head and a cool smile traces its way across my face. But that smile now quickly turns to a palm of my hand to face move when I hear that she died without a will. What?! Not again! This isn’t the first time a celebrity of Aretha Franklin’s stature passes without a will, also known as intestate. Prince comes to mind right away and they are still years from sorting his estate out. But yes, she left her fortune subject to being chopped up first by the federal government, who will indeed take a 40% cut before any of her estate is divided by her 4 living children. That is quite a sizable gift to be giving to Uncle Sam! This all could have been avoided with proper estate planning. Just like we look after our health and incorporate good living habits into our lifestyle, we should also assess and consider steps to improving how we view our estate and how it compliments or conflicts with our total wealth health. It is never too late, nor is it ever too complicated or too darn simple to not put a plan together for the inevitable. I’m here to help you sort all of that out and we can do it together.