Yes, even celebrities need to have wills and estate plans

| Apr 23, 2021 | Estate Administration & Probate |

Every year, there are celebrities who pass away. Those celebrities sometimes don’t have wills, and their life story reaches the media as family or friends attempt to obtain what they think they should as beneficiaries of the estate.

Having money, being wealthy, being famous or otherwise being in the public eye doesn’t mean that you don’t need a will or estate plan. On the contrary, it means you really should have one and put it in place as soon as you can.

No one has the ability to predict what will happen in the future, and no one can say when someone might pass away or find themselves unable to make their own decisions. Having an estate plan in place helps you protect yourself and your beneficiaries.

Many celebrities have died without wills

Many celebrities have passed away without wills in place. Some of the celebrities that have done so include:

  • Aretha Franklin
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Prince

In many cases, not having a will did make life more difficult for the people they left behind. When Aretha Franklin passed away, she had only two handwritten notes to detail what she wanted. Additionally, since she died without a will or trust and has such a large estate, the legal issues are complex.

Kurt Cobain was young when he passed, but this is another example of why having a will or estate plan is essential. He was worth around $450 million when he passed away in 1994. His will was started, but incomplete. His wife and past bandmates were caught up in a tough legal battle, but in the end, his child obtained around a third of the estate in the form of a trust fund.

Prince also passed away, famously, without a will. His estate was estimated to be worth around $200 million. In Minnesota, a probate judge appointed the singer’s six siblings as heirs in 2017. Their inheritance was slowed by appealed filed by others.

Wealth and fame add their own complexities to dying without a will. It’s important for everyone to put a will together, and to be sure it’s legally sound, to avoid trouble.