Lessons We Can Learn From Celebrity Estate Plans

Celebrities – they’re just like us! Well, sometimes. Being a law firm in California, we are well aware of the fame and glory side of being a celebrity, but we also keep an eye on the legal webs celebrities sometimes bind themselves and their loved ones to.

We frequently stress the importance of estate planning for every adult, especially those with notable assets and net worth. This is why we find it shocking and confusing when celebrities pass away and we learn their estates get caught in probate due to inefficient planning or a lack of planning altogether.

So, what lessons can we learn from some recent celebrity deaths and the estate matters that followed?

Aaron Carter dies without an estate plan

Aaron Carter passed away late last year here in California at 34 years old. The former teen pop star had his struggles in life, but when it was revealed Carter died without an estate plan the struggles would continue for his loved ones.

He left behind an 11-month-old son, but the lack of an estate plan creates a serious risk for his child’s future. Had Aaron Carter crafted an effective estate plan, the transfer of assets and wealth to his child could have been managed and secure. Instead, the state will decide what happens to Carter’s assets through an exhaustive probate process in California.

Coolio enters Gansta’s Paradise without a will

Legendary rapper Coolio, like Aaron Carter, died without a will in place. This forced his former manager to represent him in probate court to push the state to distribute his assets fairly among his seven adult children.

What’s notable here, however, is that Coolio actually has a total of ten children. That means three of his children will be left without anything if these reports about his will are accurate. If you fail to have a plan in place, not only do you leave your estate in the hands of the state but also in the hands of anyone who would attempt to or be allowed to legally represent your interests.

In both Coolio and Aaron Carter’s cases, there’s another wrinkle that both will fall victim to: a lack of privacy. The probate process makes the contents of an estate public. These celebrities had their lives dissected while they were alive but will now continue to have this done in death because they did not have a plan in place to avoid the probate process.

Betty White’s estate leaves a Golden Legacy

On the flip side of all of this is Betty White. The Golden Girls star died last year, right before her 100th birthday, but appears to have had a rock-solid estate plan in place. According to multiple reports, White had a trust in place to take care of her best wishes.

We know, according to sourced reporting, that Betty White continued her charitable work in death by leaving much of her estate to her dogs and animal-related causes she believed in. The same report suggests her $80 million+ net worth will ensure her loved ones are taken care of, but this showcases exactly why trusts are effective planning tools. Not only do the details remain private (barring sourced reporting of celebrity lives), but you can dictate exactly where and how your assets and wealth will be distributed.

A trust allows you to remain charitable even in death, similar to what former Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. facilitated before he died. Our team believes in effective planning and keeping your private matters to yourself and your loved ones. We can help you establish thorough and effective trusts that properly fulfill your wishes and maintain your privacy.

The following two tabs change content below.

Dahl Law Group

At Dahl Law Group, we’re not just a law firm. We’re your trusted advisor for your business and family from beginning to end. As your family and business grow, we will be there by your side. Our passion is providing you with peace of mind and protection through personalized estate and business planning.

Latest posts by Dahl Law Group (see all)