Celebrity Deaths Provide Lessons for Tennesseans

With the fight raging over the remains of Anna Nicole Smith and the planned burial of James Brown almost two months after his death, many people are wondering how to avoid the same fate and heartache for their family after their death.

A simple solution to this problem is to create a Will. A Tennessee Will can be made by any person 18 years of age or older with a sound mind. While arguably some may question the sound mind of Anna Nicole Smith, especially if they ever saw her reality show, if, at the time of signing the Will, she understood the effect of her Will, the property she owned, and who this property naturally would go to, usually her spouse, children, or other family members, she would have qualified.

In the case of Anna Nicole Smith’s Will, things became more complicated because she did not keep it updated. She had left everything to her son, Daniel, who preceded her in death. Whenever you have a major event in your life such as the birth of a baby, a divorce, or death of a child, it’s important to review your Will to make sure it still accurately reflects your wishes.

What were James Brown’s thoughts regarding his funeral? Did Anna Nicole Smith want to be buried next to her son? Did she want to leave everything to her new baby girl after Daniel’s unexpected death? Would she have divided it between the two children if he had lived? We will never know for sure. The best way to have your property divided according to your wishes and to have any special funeral or burial intent carried out is through a current Will. This is an important document for any person to have, but obviously with complicated or strained family relationships, this becomes even more important. Without this document to prove your intentions, it is possible to end up with someone appointed by the court deciding your final arrangements.

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