There are many reasons that people give for not writing a Will – one of the top ones being that they are not rich enough to have anything to leave. So you would assume that most (if not all) celebrities would have something in place to protect their wealth. Unfortunately that is not always the case, and the list below names some of the most famous celebrities who died without a Will.
1) Tupac (Aged 25)
Tupac’s death lead to a long drawn out fight between his parents over his estate and royalties. California Law stated that as his parents were unmarried Tupac’s father was only able to inherit part of the estate, if it could be proven that they had been in a relationship and he had provided financial support. His Mother eventually set up a trust to protect his fortune. It is estimated to be worth between $40 and $50 million and brings in a whopping $1m per year!
2) Bob Marley (Aged 36)
Bob fought cancer for 8 months before his death yet never made a Will. He left behind 9 children, three of which were with his wife. He left an estimated $30m fortune, and his passing resulted in many bitter lawsuits. Many people tried to lay claim to his estate, and legal battles lasted more than thirty years.
3) Jill Dando (Aged 37)
Jill was murdered in 1999 and died intestate. Her £1.18m estate was given to her elderly father, who also had to pay her £250,000 Inheritance Tax bill.
4) Rik Mayall (Aged 56)
Rik died unexpectedly, and without a will. His family faced a large Inheritance Tax bill on his estate that was said to be worth £1.2 million.
5) Amy Winehouse (Aged 27)
Amy was worth over £4.2 million when she passed away in 2011. Her parents, as her next of kin, inherited her fortune, under the rules of intestacy. Less than two years after her death, her six music companies had less than £180,000 in them resulting in £600,000 loans being taken out by her parents to cover the costs of dealing with her affairs.
6) Jimi Hendrix (Aged 27)
Because Jimi died without a Will, his relatives fought over his estate for more than thirty years. His estate was valued at over $80 million in 2002. A settlement was finally reached before the case was set to go to court in 2015, despite him passing away in 1970!
7) Kurt Cobain (Aged 27)
Kurt’s $450 million fortune was inherited by his wife, Courtney Love, and their daughter gained control of a trust fund when she reached the age of 18.
8) Pablo Picasso (Aged 91)
His $30 million estate was split between six heirs after a six year battle. The family continued to fight over the right to his name for a further twenty years.
9) Barry White (Aged 58)
Barry’s estate passed to his second wife, under the laws of intestacy, even though they had been separated for years before his death. His girlfriend then chose to sue his wife for part of his estate, and wanted to continue living the life she has been leading before he passed away. Barry and his girlfriend had been living together with their daughter, but it was later proven the child was not his and the court ruled that the girlfriend had no claim to his estate.
10) James Dean (Aged 24)
James died without a Will, meaning his entire estate was inherited by his father. His father used the money for a foundation to maximise the value of Dean’s brand, and in 2015 his income was $8.5 million – despite being dead for over 60 years!
What Can We Learn From Celebrities Who Died Without A Will
- Without a Will you have no control over who inherits from you. This could mean that people you want to inherit – don’t, and those that you do, could miss out!
- It can lead to lengthy court battles as your loved ones fight over what they believe they are entitled to.
- Your unmarried partner will not automatically inherit from you – even if you were living together.
- Your spouse could still inherit your entire estate – even if you have been separated for any length of time.
- It can be more costly – fees to deal with the estate and Inheritance Tax costs can significantly reduce the amount your family inherit.
- You have no control over where it goes next – your beneficiaries can choose who inherits your wealth from them after they pass away. This could be their own family, a new spouse, their own children etc., and could mean your children and family are disinherited!
- Don’t leave it too late – people pass away at all different ages and stages in their life, so you can never be too young to write your Will. (over 18’s only)
If you don’t want to leave it to chance, that your estate goes to the right people, you need to write your Will. Contact us today to find out how we can help you to protect your past, and secure your future.