MUHAMMAD ALI’S FORTUNE: What will we get to know about it?
What we may all get to learn about Muhammad Ali’s fortune depends in large part upon how he arranged his affairs. If he failed to arrange his affairs like Prince (or what is being reported about Prince) we may get to know quite a bit about Ali’s fortune. On the other hand, if he took care and chose certain estate planning tools, we may never get to know anything about the extent of his wealth or to whom he left his fortune. Here are a couple things to consider.
If someone dies without a Will, then the deceased person will be given a Will through the laws of the State in which the person dies. Most people would be very upset (especially spouses) to learn who receives the inheritance of the person who dies without a Will. For example, under Florida Law, a spouse may only inherit about one-half of the deceased spouse’s estate. And, dying without a Will definitely requires a probate process when a dead person has assets in his/her name alone. Probates involves the court and attorneys, and can be costly and take a long time. Information in the probate may also be open to the public to see.
Another common misconception is that having a Last Will & Testament will avoid the negatives of the probate process. This is not true. If Ali only had a Will we may very well get to know about his fortune and his inheritors. A Will must be admitted to court for probate to occur.
If Ali created his Estate Plan using a Revocable Living Trust, and he properly funded the trust, then the process of probate may be avoided. This means we don’t get to know what the extent of his wealth was and who gets to benefit from his wealth. Ali’s fortune and his inheritors may remain private through the use of a revocable living trust . These trusts may also save time and expense. If this is important to you, then you may want to have your estate plan evaluated for what is best for you and the ones you leave behind.