The purpose of a will is to document who gets what and when once you die. If a will is not made, state law decides who gets your assets. Your assets may end up with complete strangers like these mega-celebrities who did not have a will:
- James Dean – He died in 1955 at the age of 24 without a will (intestate). His small estate was awarded to his father and most of it was handed to his father’s relatives.
Some of the money his father received he used to create a foundation that has maximized the commercial value of James Dean’s name, likeness and image. Because of this Dean has been one of the top 10 highest earning deceased celebrities until 2012. In 2015 his income was $8.5 million even though he has been dead for 60 years.
- Jimi Hendrix – A legendary singer and guitarist, he died intestate in 1970 at the age of 27. Hendrix’s money was awarded to his father and he used it to create a family trust.
The trust grew to $80 million by 2002. The trust was then left by Hendrix’s father to his adopted daughter. She took the money and created a trust for most of the family but Hendrix’s own brother, Leon, was left out. He tried to sue but never received anything of the now $175 million estate.
- Pablo Picasso – The famous painter died intestate in 1973 at the age of 91. Even at his age, he did not have a designated beneficiary for his estate. Today it would have been valued at almost $200 million. His estate was fought over in court by his heirs, including Paloma Picasso, and the French government who claimed he owed millions of dollars in unpaid taxes. In the end, most of his estate went to his children but with much fighting and stress.
Each of the above celebrities left millions of dollars with no designated heir and so there were lawsuits by many that wanted a part of it. Use them as an example and DO NOT follow in their footsteps!
Make Your Intentions Crystal Clear in a Will or Trust
Whether you are a celebrity or just a regular working individual, making a will or creating a trust will guarantee your family, friends or organizations get what you want for them. Make your wishes clear and avoid fighting among family and friends. An experienced attorney can help you with the process to be sure you protect and provide for those you love.
Call us today and give us the opportunity to advise you in the best options to make your wishes clear when you die. We can help you establish a will or trust.