Black Business

Here Are Five Estate Planning Tools That Are Not Just for the Rich, But for Everyone


When hip-hop artist DMX died in 2021, he left no will in place and very few liquid assets. While DMX’s estimated 15 children are expecting a share of his $1 million estate, it has been tied up in probate court for months.

In addition, an estate has to be established to manage any expected future earnings from his music. Yet with no appointed administrators and costly probate attorney fees, DMX’s estate will be dwindling until the proceedings are finalized. 

Photo by Cytonn Photography from Pexels

Although music superstar Prince died in 2016, his $156.4 million estate was just settled in January 2022. Why? Because he left no will.

Like DMX and Prince, many Black Americans have failed to participate in the estate planning process. Only about a third of Blacks who have a will, a found a Caring.com survey. But, that percentage has increased since 2020.

The number of Black Americans who have completed a will has increased by 6.2% (from 25.9% to 27.5%). An estimated 35 percent of white Americans have wills.

Estate planning will allow you to remain in control of your assets while contributing to your family’s generational wealth. 

“We need to bust the myth that it is just for the rich or when the idea that when I die I don’t have to do the planning–it will just go to my children,” Sheila Samuels, estate planning attorney with Samuels Law Firm, told Finurah. 

She continued, “Estate planning is not just about when you die, it is actually about what happens during your lifetime. It’s really about taking control over what happens. You have a say in who can make decisions, who inherits your assets and who can oversee your estate.” 

Samuels said there are five tools necessary to create a comprehensive estate plan. Of course, it is necessary to consult with an attorney in your state to understand your specific state laws. 

Read full story on Finurah here.


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