I often write blogs about how a notable individual failed to plan for his or her death, and the difficulties that this lack of planning left in its wake. This cannot be said for Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, who passed away yesterday. A friend and I were discussing the logistics of the monarchy’s financial holdings at lunch today. While neither of us has a complete understanding of the financial underpinnings of the monarchy or its family, one thing seemed true, and that is that it seems well planned and organized. So, what does that mean for this blog or estate planning in general? Certainty and continuity for the family, at least as far as its finances are concerned.
I do not know if the Queen had a will or not, and do not follow the “goings on,” of members of any royal family, but I am nearly certain that Elizabeth’s personal estate was planned in such a manner, through the use of Trusts and other entities, that whether the Queen had a will or not makes no difference. Everything that needs to pass to a family member or revert to the State (the UK itself) has been considered and will find its proper place. The end result of all this is that there is no chaos or confusion. No uncertainty. While an extreme example, I think it is instructive. Spending time beforehand considering what you want your legacy to be when you are no longer here is certainly time well spent.