As important as it is to ensure safety when driving, the consequences of being unable to drive can feel overwhelming. Learn how to make it work.
It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of taking the time to plan your estate. Nevertheless, it’s surprising how many American adults haven’t done so. You might think that those who are rich and famous would be way ahead of the curve when it comes to planning their estates properly, considering the resources and lawyers presumably available to them. Yet there are plenty of celebrities and people of note who died with inadequate estate plans.
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, died in 2018, leaving behind a score of wonderful music and countless memories. But it appears Ms. Franklin died without a will or estate plan in place. Her four sons filed documents in the Oakland County (Michigan) Probate Court listing themselves as interested parties, while Ms. Franklin’s niece asked the court to appoint her as personal representative of the estate. Her estate will be distributed according to the laws of her state of residence (Michigan). In addition, creditors will have a chance to make claims against her estate and may get paid before any of her heirs. And if she owned property in more than one state, then probate will likely have to be opened in each state where she owned property. The settling of her estate could drag on for years at a potentially high financial cost.
Prince Rogers Nelson, who was better known as Prince, died in 2016. He was 57 years old and still making incredible music and entertaining millions of fans throughout the world. The first filing in the Probate Court for Carver County, Minnesota, was by a woman claiming to be the sister of Prince, asking the court to appoint a special administrator because there was no will or other testamentary documents. As of November 2018, there have been hundreds of court filings from prospective heirs, creditors, and other “interested parties.” There will be no private administration of Prince’s estate, as the entire ongoing proceeding is open and available to anyone for scrutiny.
Pablo Picasso died in 1973 at the ripe old age of 91, apparently leaving no will or other testamentary instructions. He left behind nearly 45,000 works of art, rights and licensing deals, real estate, and other assets. The division of his estate assets took six years and included seven heirs. The settlement among his nearest relatives cost an estimated $30 million in legal fees and other related costs.
Abraham Lincoln, one of America’s greatest presidents, was also a lawyer. Yet when he met his untimely and tragic death at the hands of John Wilkes Booth in 1865, he died intestate — without a will or other testamentary documents. On the day of his death, Lincoln’s son, Robert, asked Supreme Court Justice David Davis to assist in handling his father’s financial affairs. Davis ultimately was appointed as the administrator of Lincoln’s estate. It took more than two years to settle his estate, which was divided between his surviving widow and two sons.
The greatest generation and baby boomers didn’t grow with computer technology, so sometimes it is difficult for seniors to work with computers. It’s hard to understand the hardware, operating systems, and software. Windows seems to be getting more complicated with each new release. If you are setting up a new computer or want to try something easier to use, perhaps you should consider Linux as the operating system for you.
You may think of video games as an activity for teenagers to pass the time; something for kids, but not really for adults. Did you know that more than 25% of gamers are over age 50, and over 40% are female? Today video games are for everyone, including seniors. There are a variety of games that assist with physical fitness and cognitive function. If you liked games as a child, then it’s just the case of finding the right game for you as an adult.
Technology can be difficult for seniors. Often, technology developers don’t keep older adults in mind when creating a product. Many of us, not just seniors, would enjoy bigger buttons on our phones and tablets, easy to use reminders and well-lit screens. Although many seniors shy away from using modern day devices, some items can improve their daily lives. Every senior should try to use a cell phone, a medication management system and a medical alert system.