What Celebrities Teach Us About Life After Death

8:14 am Uncategorized

Celebrities who die without having a well thought out estate plan in place teach us a lot – and two attorneys have written about it in a book entitled, “Trial & Heirs”, which shows how life after a celebrity’s death is often filled with family squabbles over the estate.

A recent article in the Detroit Free Press provided these details from the book:

Michael Jackson, for example, died at 50 but had made a will and set up a trust for his children. But like so many everyday fathers or mothers, he didn’t take the next key step — funding the trust or re-titling his assets into it. Now, it’s a family mess.

Sonny Bono, the Detroit native who made his name as a 1960s pop singer before entering politics and winning election to Congress, died in a skiing accident at age 62 without a will.  His widow had to deal with claims filed by creditors against his estate, including one filed by Sonny’s second wife and original singing partner, Cher, who said she was owed money from their divorce.  And then a man came out of the blue and filed a legal claim saying he was Bono’s son. A valid will — which two out of three people don’t have — could have solved many problems, according to “Trial & Heirs.”

Then there was guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, who died in 1970 at age 27 without a will. His father got all of a modest estate, which he turned into an $80-million business venture. But then the father died and trouble began. In a mess that dragged into 2007, Jimi’s half-sister got the estate and his brother Leon was left with nothing.

While not all of us can live the kind of lives that celebrities do (or necessarily want to), everyone can and should make estate planning a priority to ensure that the legacy you leave your family is a good one.

Let our Costa Mesa law offices help you get started by contacting us today.

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