Prince’s death underscores importance of having a will

Prince at Golden State Warriors basketball game on March 3, 2016. (Courtesy: Golden State Warrior)

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – Earlier this week, we learned that musician Prince passed away without a will.

His sister, Tyka Nelson, filed court documents Tuesday morning saying no living will was found. She now wants the court to appoint a corporate trust company to oversee her brother’s estate.

Mahoning County Attorney Nils Johnson says the best thing to do is to get your affairs sorted and to do it quickly.

“A will is a written statement of how you want things to pass when you die some day,” Johnson said.

If you don’t have a will prepared yourself, the state of Ohio will decide what to do with your belongings by default. According to Ohio’s statute of dissent and distribution, if you pass away without a will, the state of Ohio has the say in who receives your possessions.

Johnson said a will can be finished in about two and a half hours, but often families feel uncomfortable discussing their own mortality.

“That’s part of the trick, when people come in after thinking about it for 30 years, is to open up and communicate the nuances of the relationships and the family so you can design the right product, so to speak,” Johnson said

Johnson urges anyone who doesn’t have a will to speak to an experienced lawyer to make arrangements. The later someone waits, the easier it is for others to change the arrangements.

“If they were elderly and there was a lot of money involved, then people come forward, people make allegations they weren’t in their right mind, there was fraud involved,” Johnson said.

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