Prince didn't have an estate plan and now the whole world knows about his awesome car collection.
The artist who, at various times, went by the name Prince sadly died of an accidental overdose at the age of 57 in April of 2016. To the benefit of society, Prince spent more time thinking about the art he was creating and less time thinking about planning the sizable estate he was amassing. As such, he died without any type of estate plan, and his heirs had to submit his estate to a probate court in Minnesota.
I have found that most people I speak to about estate planning don't realize that, even if you have a will, your heirs will have to go to the probate court and EVERYTHING SUBMITTED IN PROBATE IS PUBLIC. This means that all of your assets, your wishes, your beneficiaries' information - everything - will be available for public consumption. Case in point: an inventory of Prince's estate, including his $25.5 MM in real estate and his 18 cars and motorcycles, including the "Purple Rain" motorcycle.
"But, I'm not Prince," you may be thinking. "Who is going to google my estate??" Unfortunately, predatory "professionals" know how to use google too and have been known to reach out to listed beneficiaries to try to hawk their services. Real estate agents may call pressuring your beneficiaries to sell a piece of property they just inherited, or financial advisors may call to try to convince them to invest in some new financial product. Even worse, your beneficiaries may be the unwelcome recipients of calls from creditors - real or fake - trying to take advantage of their new influx of money.
Take advantage of this one opportunity to say to yourself - or others if you're feeling bold - I can be better than Prince (at this one thing!).