4 Estate Planning Lessons From Celebrities
May 9, 2017
There are many aspects of “celebrity” that most of us will never encounter. Needing an entourage. Keeping track of multiple mansions or a private jet. Scheduling movie premieres.
But estate planning is an area that’s critically important to all of us. And just as celebrities are in the news for their latest albums or movies, when famous people pass away, their estate planning mistakes are also in the news. These mistakes may make you shake your head when you hear about them, but they also provide extremely important lessons for all of us to consider when planning for our future. In particular, these four (4) estate planning lessons (learned from the mistakes of celebrities) can be helpful for your future:
- Take the time to create a will. Despite an estate worth tens of millions of dollars, Prince did not leave a will when he died. The subsequent squabbling and chaos continues a year after his passing (and shows no signs of slowing down).
- Don’t be guilty of “set it and forget it” with your will. Upon the sudden passing of Whitney Houston back in 2012, the last update of her will coincided with the birth of her daughter Bobbi Kristina…back in 1993. Bobbi Kristina was 18 at the time of her mother’s passing, and due to an old provision not considering her maturity at the time of her mother’s death, only received $2 million from her mother’s estate. Sadly, Bobbi Kristina died in 2015, before ever receiving the rest of her inheritance.
- Be sure to finish what you start. When James Gandolfini died suddenly of a heart attack in 2013, he had understood the importance of estate planning for his reported $70 million estate. Unfortunately, he didn’t finish planning so while his family was provided for, the estate was taxed at a rate of 55%.
- If you have children, be sure to consider trusts. Trusts can help parents ensure their children receive inheritances of the right amount and timing. Michael Jackson set up trusts for his children, but never funded them. As a result, his children have been in probate court numerous times since his passing. Reportedly trying to avoid “spoiled trust fund” children, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman never set up trusts for his kids, believing their mother could simply provide money as necessary. As a result, their inheritances were subject to heavy taxing.
While the unfortunate circumstances surrounding these celebrities and their passing have negatively impacted their families, you can take steps now to ensure those same mistakes don’t affect your families. Call our office at 235-5885 for a free consultation and to start taking the right steps today.
Related Topics: Estate Planning
« Back to Blog