The life of a celebrity often seems so much easier and fun than an average person’s life. Unfortunately for them, they have to follow the same estate planning procedures as everyone else. Despite their access to big budget attorneys and nearly limitless resources, celebrities all make estate planning mistakes. This week, we continue exploring those mistakes. Read on to learn the even more celebrity estate planning mistakes and what lessons we can take away from them.
The Personality: Florence Griffith Joyner
The Problem: Losing The Estate Planning Documents
Florence Griffith Joyner was an American track and field star who earned the title of the “fastest woman of all time”. Unfortunately, she died young due to her epileptic condition. Joyner did plan ahead and create a last will and testament. However, her husband did not find the documents in time to file them properly with the state.
Always ensure that at least two people that you trust know where your estate planning documents are secure. It is discouraging to think of all the time and effort put into estate planning going to waste.
The Personality: Jimi Hendrix
The Problem: Never Even Considering Estate Planning
The great Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 at the early age of 27. His problem was failing to have an estate plan. Hendrix had two illegitimate children, but had never married. Because he had no will, his estate was inherited by his father. Young people expect to live forever. Tragedies happen and families are left to mourn. Don’t leave them out because you failed to plan.
If someone dies without a will, their property is deemed “intestate”. That means that the probate court has to sort and disperse the entire estate according to state law. This could result in benefits going to people you didn’t intend them to go to. To ensure your assets go to the ones you choose you need, at the very least, a will. This is especially important for young people who are married or who have children.
The Personality: Diana, Princess Of Wales
The Problem: Not Making Wishes Explicit
Princess Di’s death shook the world in the ‘90s. The princess turned divorcée turned socialite was an icon for women the world over. She had established estate planning documents at the time of her death. However, the trusting princess put too much faith in her executors.
The executors, Diana’s sister and other, were made responsible for distributing belongings between 19 people: Diana’s 2 biological sons, along with her 17 godchildren. Her intention was to let each child pick out what was meaningful for them, with the executors settling any squabbles. What happened in reality was quite different. Every godchild received a single small trinket, and that was it. It did not give any of the children that were so beloved to her, much to remember her by.