Failing to create an estate plan is one of the biggest mistakes associated with settling final affairs. However, this is a mistake that many people fall victim to, including celebrities. As a result, the deceased person’s family is left to sort through the probate administration process without the knowledge of their loved one’s true final wishes.

Some Tennessee residents may be shocked to learn that music icon Aretha Franklin died without creating an estate plan. Reports indicated that her attorney had encouraged her to create a trust for the estate, but the singer never actually carried out the steps to do so. Now, her estate will be distributed through intestate laws, but even following this law could result in conflict among surviving family and potential heirs.

The report indicated that Franklin’s four sons had filed documents with the court, indicating their interest in the estate. Her niece has also filed a petition to act as personal representative of the estate since an executor was not appointed. Due to a lack of trust, which could have kept the estate affairs private, much public information will likely come about as the administration of the estate moves forward.

Probate administration is typically time-consuming, even with estate planning documents to guide the process. If Tennessee families have to contend with an estate that did not have a will or other instructions, the process may become even more complex. Fortunately, parties do not have to attempt to go through these legal proceedings on their own, and experienced attorneys could help.