Celebrities! They’re just like us! Well, in some ways, at least. Even the rich and famous aren’t immune from mistakes and oversights that can cause legal trouble down the road. In this post, our Maryland estate planning attorneys at The Law Office of Raymond E. Brown will share some examples of celebrities who had the right idea when it comes to estate planning as well as those who didn’t quite hit the mark.
Poor Estate Planning Examples
Though these public figures undoubtedly left a legacy behind for the world, they didn’t take the proper steps to protect their legacy for their family and loved ones. Below are some celebrity spotlights on poor estate planning.
Prince’s estate planning is considered one of the worst in history. He died without a will, which led to a lengthy legal battle over his estate that is still ongoing years later. The lack of a will has resulted in a significant portion of his estate being swallowed by legal fees and taxes. His family members have had to fight over his assets in court.
Aretha Franklin also died without a will, which led to a contentious legal battle among her heirs. Her estate is estimated to be worth around $80 million. Without a will, it has been difficult to determine how her assets should be divided.
The actor who played Tony Soprano in the hit show “The Sopranos” had an estate plan that was not properly structured, resulting in a significant portion of his estate being eaten up by estate taxes.
The legendary singer’s estate was poorly managed, resulting in a prolonged legal battle over her assets. Her estate planning also lacked clarity and confused her family members.
The late singer did not have a will or any estate planning in place, which resulted in a lengthy legal battle over her assets.
The late actor did not update his will after the birth of his daughter, which caused confusion and legal battles over his estate.
Martin Luther King Jr.
The civil rights leader did not have a will at the time of his death, which caused a prolonged legal battle over his estate that lasted for years.
Good Estate Planning Example
Whereas many celebs didn’t get the memo about the importance of good estate planning, there were others who knew exactly how pertinent it was and took the proper steps to ensure their assets were distributed according to their wishes. These celebrity spotlights demonstrate the importance of proper estate planning.
The late author Tom Clancy had a well-structured estate plan that included a trust to hold his assets. The trust provided for the ongoing management of his assets after his death and helped to minimize estate taxes.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
The actor Philip Seymour Hoffman had a carefully crafted estate plan that included a trust to hold his assets and provide for his children’s future. The trust also helped to minimize estate taxes and allowed for privacy in the distribution of his assets.
The late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman established a charitable foundation during his lifetime, which allowed him to donate a significant portion of his assets to charity. The foundation continues to support charitable causes after his death and has significantly impacted the world.
The late comedian and actor had a well-planned estate that included a trust and instructions for his trustees to sell his real estate and donate the proceeds to charity. This helped minimize estate taxes and allowed his philanthropic legacy to continue beyond his lifetime.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
The former first lady had a carefully crafted estate plan that included trusts and provisions for her children and grandchildren. She also donated a significant portion of her estate to charity.
The late NBA superstar had a trust in place to protect his assets and provide for his family. His estate planning also included provisions for his wife and children to inherit his business interests and intellectual property.
The Hollywood legend had a well-planned estate with a trust and provisions for her children, grandchildren, and charities. She also had a detailed plan for the distribution of her jewelry collection.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
The late actor had a trust in place to protect his assets and provide for his partner and children. His estate planning also included provisions for his children to inherit his artistic property.
Call Annapolis Estate Planning Lawyer Raymond E. Brown Today
As you can see, having a well-crafted estate plan in place can help to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, minimize estate taxes, and avoid legal battles among family members. If you don’t yet have a last Will, Trust, or other estate planning documents in place, don’t wait! The sooner you get your affairs in order, the better.