Michael Jackson wasn't known for his financial prudence, but he got one thing right: his estate planning, writes Jane Bennett Clark for Kiplinger. Here’s how to follow his good example:
- Write a will: Two-thirds of Americans don’t. Jackson’s is concrete: His kids get 40% of his estate, his mother gets 40%, and 20% goes to charity.
- Set up a living trust: In most cases it protects the assets it covers from going through probate after you die. You keep control as a trustee.
- Pick a guardian for your kids: Jackson tapped his mother, with Diana Ross as a backup. Courts usually follow these instructions.
- Choose a good legal team to run the show: Jackson picked a “top-notch lawyer” and a “savvy business executive” as his will’s co-executors and co-trustees of his family trust.