A recent surge in the number of Americans creating wills can be attributed to the death of entertainer Prince. However, it appears that many people might be looking in the wrong place to get those wills.
Rock star Prince passed away unexpectedly without a will. That has already caused many problems for his estate and is likely to continue causing problems for the foreseeable future. Seeing and reading about these issues in the media has caused many Americans to rightfully seek out wills of their own according to Private Wealth in "Dearly Beloved: Prince's Death Prompts Uptick In Wills."
While it is good that people are learning from this tragedy and getting wills, a look at the source of the data is cause for concern. The data is from online services that sell downloadable wills and other estate planning forms. Independent experts who have looked at these types of forms in the past have all drawn the same conclusions. These forms tend to be only useful for the most simple of estates and often cause more problems than they are worth.
People who use these forms might actually be costing their estates more money in the long run. It is cheaper to have an attorney draft a will than it is to have an attorney sort out problems with a bad will in probate court.
Do seek inspiration from Prince's death and get a will.
However, make sure that you are getting the estate planning information and advice that you need. Schedule an appointment with a qualified estate planning attorney instead of buying a form to print out and fill-in-the-blanks.
Reference: Private Wealth (May 24, 2016) "Dearly Beloved: Prince's Death Prompts Uptick In Wills."