Pile of money

In the past few months, we've experienced a number of losses of music legends. Chief among those was David Bowie. While musicians may not be known for their fiscal responsibility, Bowie reportedly left approximately $100 million to family members. According to the BBC, each of his two children will inherit a quarter of his estate. Bowie left behind a 44-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter. The teen daughter's inheritance must be managed by a financial guardian until she is of age, which, in most states, is 18.

It has not been reported whether David Bowie had a trust set up for his daughter or for anyone else in his family. However, most people who have the amount of assets that Bowie accumulated over the years do have them.

Why Everyone Should Have an Estate Plan

The vast majority of people don't have the size estate that this rock icon left behind. Nonetheless, whether you have thousands of dollars or millions of dollars to leave to your heirs and beneficiaries, you can and should determine if, how and when they will receive that money. You don't have to stipulate that your children or other heirs receive all of your money when they are of age. Some people choose to have certain amounts of inheritances paid out to their heirs at specific ages. After all, giving a great deal of money to those who may still be too young to handle it responsibly is often not a good idea.

Estate planning isn't just for people with a large amount of money or for those with children, spouses and other family members to whom they want their assets to go when they die. Some people choose to leave everything to non-profit organizations for which they've worked or donated to over the years. Others want to leave everything to family members. By documenting this in a will and trust, you can rest assured that your wishes will be carried out. Estate planning attorneys can help you do this as well as document any wishes you may have for burial, cremation and end-of-life care.