From Aretha Franklin to Prince, so many famous, wealthy people have died without having a will.
It's nuts. Their heirs may have to spend an exorbitant amount of time fighting the courts - and each other - to determine who gets what.
You can't take your assets with you. Get it? Everyone should have a will - and you don't need to be famous or wealthy to need one.
Give me 60 seconds and I'll tell you why.
Granted people often are uncomfortable talking about their mortality. And rockstars Amy Winehouse and Kirk Cobain, who both died at 27, probably presumed they were way too young to even need one. But they had millions at their death.
Not Just for the Rich and Famous
Regardless of your age, net worth or level of fame, you are doing your heirs a HUGE favor by taking care of everything now, says Robert Westley, CPA/PFS member of the American Institute of CPAs Personal Financial Specialist, PFS, Credential Committee."
(Unless, of course, you enjoy watching your heirs fight over your stuff rather than resting in peace.)
So start making a list of everything you have -- include investment accounts, artwork, even those vintage cars in the garage.
And if you have young kids, don't forget to pick their guardians. You don't want your chronically unemployed brother to end up with them.
If you have substantial wealth, then you probably are going to need an estate plan, maybe even a trust, and an attorney to help carry out your wishes.
Beneficiaries Override Your Will
Big note here: A bunch of your assets are not even controlled by your will. Anything with a beneficiary designation - like your 401(k), IRA or insurance policies - is dictated by those designations, says Westley.
They override your will. So if in your will you state that you want your kids to inherit your IRA but your ex-spouse's name is still listed as the beneficiary because you forgot to update it, guess who's coming in on a windfall?
So check all that now.
And drop the excuses. This is not just for old rich people. We all know that you can get hit by a bus while you are walking on the street or even reading this.
You Need to Revisit
And finally this is not a one-and-done, says Westley.
"Many individuals assume that once they've completed their estate plan and will there is no need to revisit it. The reality is, estate documents are static, while an individual's life is dynamic and ever-changing," he says.
People die, get divorced, buy new stuff, sell old stuff. So your will needs to be revisited, often.
So get on it, and for more tips, follow me @tracybyrnes.