The end of April marked five years since pop superstar Prince died suddenly at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota. Prince left behind an estate comprising largely of intellectual property and music rights worth an estimated US$150-$300 million.

However, he died without a will so his estate still hasn’t settled. Instead, it’s been tied up in legal battles as his surviving family members fight among themselves.

Those battles haven’t come cheap either, with court filings showing over US$45 million of the singer’s estate had been spent on legal and probate fees by April 2019.

All this could have been prevented if Prince had prepared a will.

So while nobody enjoys thinking about their death, if you own any assets including property, it’s important to have one in place. Otherwise, the law decides who gets your assets – and this may not be in line with your wishes.

Dying without a will also increases the risk of expensive family disputes.

Can you write your own will?

 While any Australian who is at least 18 years and of sound mind can write their own will – remember, it is a legal document. This means if it is not done correctly, it will be considered invalid.

Working with an experienced lawyer gives you peace of mind that this won’t happen.

Leah Cole is a wills and estates lawyer at Sutton Laurence King Lawyers.

Thinking about writing a will? Call us on 03 9070 9810 or email info@slklawyers.com.au to begin the process.

Sutton Laurence King Lawyers articles are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this article. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.