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Here are five estate planning tools that aren’t just for the rich, but for everyone

When hip-hop artist DMX passed away in 2021, he left no will in place and very little cash. While DMX’s estimated 15 children await a share of his $1 million estate, it has been stuck in probate court for months.

In addition, an estate must be established to manage the expected future income from his music. Yet, in the absence of appointed administrators and costly probate fees, DMX’s estate will dwindle until the proceedings are finalized.

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Although music superstar Prince died in 2016, his $156.4 million estate was just settled in January 2022. Why? Because he left no will.

Like DMX and Prince, many black Americans were not involved in the estate planning process. Only about a third of blacks who have a will, found a Caring.com survey. But this percentage has increased since 2020.

The number of Black Americans who wrote a will increased by 6.2% (from 25.9% to 27.5%). An estimated 35% of white Americans have wills.

Estate planning will allow you to maintain control of your wealth while contributing to the generational wealth of your family.

“We need to bust the myth that it’s just for the rich or when the idea that when I die I don’t have to do the planning – it will just go to my kids,” Sheila Samuels, estate planning lawyer at Samuels Law Firm, says Finurah.

She continued: “Estate planning isn’t just about when you die, it’s actually about what happens in your lifetime. It’s really about taking control of what’s going on. You have a say in who can make decisions, who inherits your assets and who can oversee your estate.

Samuels said there are five tools needed to create a comprehensive estate plan. Of course, it is necessary to consult an attorney in your state to understand your state’s specific laws.

Read the full story on Finurah here.

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