2016 has been difficult for music fans who have said goodbye to several iconic and beloved artists.

We lost “Ziggy Stardust”  a.k.a David Bowie in January. Maurice White, founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire left us in February.  Then it was country outlaw Merle Haggard and Billy Paul, the mesmerizing singer of the 1972 hit “Me and Mrs. Jones” in April.

April also saw the passing of the prince of Paisley Park, Prince Rogers Nelson, better known simply by his first name, Prince. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1958, Prince took pop culture by storm in the 1980s with a successful string of hit albums and the monumental “Purple Rain” movie in 1984.

There were tributes around the world in his memory. Media coverage showed images of millions of fans at purple-themed vigils.  Buildings and even bridges were draped or lighted in purple as fans mourned his untimely passing.

To compound the sad news, CNN reported that Prince passed away without a will.  His estate, which is estimated to exceed $300 million dollars, will be in the hands of the probate court. The court—and not Prince— will decide how it is distributed.

It is heartbreaking to lose someone we love and cherish. It is likewise heartbreaking to see someone pass without their final wishes carried out as they would have wanted.

We at Forest Lawn encourage everyone to draft a will and put their memorial wishes in writing to avoid potential issues and problems for those left behind. Writing a will and planning your memorial is prudent, wise and will save those you love the grief and anguish of wondering what you would have wanted.

Wills may be executed by an attorney or legal service. There are also do-it-yourself wills available. Forest Lawn can help you plan your memorial. Give us a call at 1-800-204-3131 and our trained counselors can assist you in making these important provisions for your family.