Dolly Parton has been doling out words of wisdom for decades. It’s hard to pick a favorite quote, but “find out who you are and do it on purpose” has to be near the top. Dolly has been unapologetically authentic her entire life, and she isn’t about to change that now. That’s why it was really interesting to learn a bit about how she is taking on the challenge of building a legacy that will last well beyond her time on this earth, and an estate plan to match.
Dolly Parton’s Estate Planning Candid Advice
In this summer’s “Country Power Players” issue of Billboard magazine, Dolly shared some candid remarks about estate planning:
Though there is an air of immortality to Parton, thanks to her immutable image and lyrics like “You’re never old unless you choose to be,” she and [Danny Nozell, her longtime manager,] have spent the past few years preparing for a world without her. Unlike Prince or Aretha Franklin, who died without wills, Parton has worked to get her estate in order, and Nozell says that most decisions now are made with Parton’s legacy in mind. (Parton and Carl Dean, her husband of 54 years, have no children.) “I would not want to leave that mess to somebody else,” Parton says, before offering a little advice. “A word to all the other artists out there: If you haven’t made those provisions, do that. You don’t want to leave that mess to your family for people to have to fight over. You need to take care of that yourself, even if it’s a pain in the ass — and it is.”
Dolly’s advice is solid, even if you aren’t a recording artist worth millions of dollars. Failing to make an estate plan will leave your family with a mess to deal with. Instead of knowing exactly what you would like done with all the stuff you are leaving behind, your loved ones will have to guess. But before they can even begin that process, they will have to hire an attorney, and convince a judge that they are the ones who should be doing that guessing. It is a huge burden to ask of loved ones who are grieving your loss when you have the ability to make things much easier on them by taking time now to sign a couple pieces of paper.
As for Dolly’s assertion that estate planning is a “pain in the ass,” the Palmer & Slay team pleads the Fifth. We can’t say the estate planning process is painless because it can take an emotional toll. It may require quite a bit of paperwork, which is not everyone’s favorite task. However, we can almost guarantee that your estate planning process will be easier than Dolly’s, unless you too own a theme park, a production company, and a catalogue of songs worth millions of dollars.
If you are ready to take Dolly’s advice and get your affairs in order, the Palmer & Slay team is ready to help. Please contact us today to set up a time to talk.