10 Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes
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Just like regular folks, celebrities flub their estate planning, costing their intended heirs money and/or grief. What’s different? Bigger dollar amounts and notoriety, mostly. A new book, Trial & Heirs, by probate litigator Andrew W. Mayoras and his estate lawyer wife, Danielle B. Mayoras, uses celebrity cliffhanger cases to dish out real-life advice.
The mistakes celebrities have made run the gamut, from never writing a will (music legend Jimi Hendrix) to relying on a “letter of wishes” to give away belongings (Princess Di). So read on, and learn from their mistakes.
Celebrity: Jimi Hendrix
Mistake: Never writing a will.
Story: Music legend Jimi Hendrix died at age 27 in 1970 without a will. Under state law, his dad, Al, got everything, leaving his close brother Leon with nothing. Al built Hendrix’s musical legacy into an $80 million venture, but in his own will cut out Leon and his family, in favor of his adopted daughter through a later marriage.
Lesson: Even young rock stars aren’t immortal. Sign a will or living trust document.
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