Controversy continues for Michael Jackson even a couple of years after his death.
There were reports that singer and actress Janet Jackson held up the burial of her brother Michael until she was reimbursed for the amount she gave as a security deposit for a cemetery plot. These reports were made public as excerpts of a book detailing the death of Mr. Jackson. Janet Jackson has denied these reports, and claims that they are untrue. Jackson was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in California on Sept. 3, 2009, more than two months after his death. There was a delay in his burial, but the facts as to the cause of the delay are still in dispute. There should be no need for controversy such as this to even exist. Although the exact finances of Michael Jackson's estate may be in question, it is estimated that he earned over a billion dollars in his lifetime and owned many profitable assets such as the publishing rights to song of the Beatles.
A proper estate plan would have prevented the opportunity for a controversy over funeral expenses to even exist. While Mr. Jackson's death was sudden and unexpected there are steps that can be put into place to prepare for any unexpected occurrences. A proper funeral plan could pay in advance and spell out specific directions as to where the money to provide final expenses will come from. If there is no question as to the source of funds for final expenses then there will not be any difficulties in proceeding with the arrangements and more importantly there will be no potential family conflict or disagreement. When other family members get involved in planning and paying for a final expenses then they may feel they have more of a right to control the proceedings than a personal representative or executor if they are not the same person. Other family members may get upset with this person that may exert more control with the purse strings especially if it delays the proceedings or goes against the deceased final wishes or what other family members think were the final wishes of the deceased.
A written record of funeral or burial instructions can be a helpful part of an estate plan and remove potential conflict. A will or living trust that explains where final expenses can be paid from or how to reimburse the expenses of family members can also be helpful.
Evan Guthrie Law Firm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of South Carolina. The Evan Guthrie Law Firm practices in the areas of estate planning probate personal injury and divorce and family law. For further information visit his website at http://www.ekglaw.com. Evan Guthrie Law Firm 164 Market Street Suite 362 Charleston SC 29401 843-926-3813
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