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Celebrities who died without a Will
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Celebrities who died without a Will

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

Head of Legal at TrulyWill

The effect of lack of Estate Planning had far-reaching consequences for these celebrities. Even the rich and famous also fail to plan their future properly when it comes to Estate Planning. There are a number of celebrities who died without a Will. Estate planning for high net worth individuals has the same importance as it is there for a person worth $20000-$30000. Both are hard-earned assets and everyone wants to get them distributed among their family members after them.

You might think that these disputes will not arise in your case as your Financial life is not that complex and you have plenty of time to think about it. Unfortunately, you are wrong. You never know what is going to happen the very next moment. You need to understand the importance of Estate planning in your life and get started to create yours. 

Table of Contents:

  1. Jimi Hendrix
  2. Steing Larsson
  3. Abraham Lincoln
  4. Prince Rogers Nelson
  5. Lessons we learnt from these Famous people

Following is the list of Famous Celebrities who died without a Last Will and Testament which will give you an insight on what to include and what to avoid while writing your own Will. You may also refer to sample Wills online to have an idea.

Jimi Hendrix

Stieg Larsson

Abraham Lincoln

Prince Rogers Nelson 

Died at the age of 27 with a net worth of $20,000.

Died at the age of 50 with a net worth of $30 million.

Died at the age of 54 with a net worth of $85,000. 

Died at the age of 57 with a net worth between $300- $400. 

The probate court took 44 years to completely dismiss the fight among family members for the estate and everything was inherited by his father.  

The probate court took 4 years and  everything was transferred to his estranged family.

He was living unmarried with his long term partner for years but since he died intestate, she got nothing.

The probate court took 2 years for the family to take charge of Lincoln’s Estate. The lack of a will created two long years for the Lincoln family, something they surely wish they could have avoided.

It has been more than 60 years to his death and the court has not distributed his wealth to the heirs till now. 

Famous Celebrities who died without a Will | TrulyWill

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is one of the most famous electric guitarists of the 20th century in the history of popular music.

On 18th September 1970, Jimi Hendrix died at the young age of 27. He died intestate. When Hendrix passed away, his net worth was more than $800,000 in 1970, which is equivalent to $5 million in 2022.

The battle for the distribution of his estate continued for 30 years. If he had made a will, his estate would have been divided as he wished, but unfortunately, his family and loved ones had to suffer through a long legal trial. 

Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson was a Swedish writer, activist and journalist who was born in 1954 and died suddenly in 2004 due to heart failure. Larsson was living with his long-term partner for several years without marrying.

But, all his wealth was transferred to his estranged family at his death. His partner received nothing. This might not be his last wish. He must have wanted to give some part of his wealth or maybe the whole of it to his partner. Due to lack of Will, the court did not consider her to have a share in Larsson’s estate.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was an American Lawyer who served as the 16th President of the States from 1861 to 1865 when he was assassinated. He was born and brought up in a poor family and his estate in 1861 was roughly $15000  which grew to $85000 in 1865.

Despite being a Lawyer, he never had a Will. It may be because he would have never thought of dying suddenly or being assassinated. If he had a Will, he would have divided his wealth among his family as per his wish. Maybe he wanted to give everything to his wife, That's what people usually do.

But, because of dying intestate, his Estate was divided between his wife and 2 children.

Prince Rogers Nelson

Born in 1958, Prince was an American Singer, Lyricist and multi-instrumentalist. With a $156 Million valuation in 2016, he died intestate.

He left a valuable and complicated Estate with 2 divorces, and many siblings and was unmarried at the time of death. It has been more than 60 years since his death and the court has not distributed his wealth to the heirs till now. All this happened just because of their ignorance of Estate Planning by Prince.

Due to the lack of a Will, there was a lot of disagreement among his family and relatives that continued for 4 years which could have been avoided if Prince had a Will. 

Lessons we learnt from these Famous people:

  1. You are never too young to have a Will. Death is the inevitable truth of Life and no one can predict the time of his/her death. You should always be prepared for tomorrow to avoid any future regrets.
  2. Do not wait for retirement or any Illness and Create a Will now. Having an Estate plan at the earliest is the best way to protect your loved ones. What if you die suddenly without a Will? You are not going to take even a single penny with you after death. So, make sure you prescribe the best use of your wealth in your Will to avoid any further grief to your family and relatives.

Got Questions?

Hi, I’m Jennifer McGee.

Co-founder & Head of Legal at TrulyWill

Feel free to book a call with me to help you with your estate plan.

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What is a Will?
Will is the most important legal document of Estate Planning by which a person transfers his/her property as per his wish, which comes into effect after the death of the person.
Who can make a Will?
In almost all States, every person who is 18 years of age or above can make a Will. However, there are few states where the age to make a valid Will is less than 18 years.
What are the benefits of creating a Will?
By creating a will you ensure that certain assets and the properties you own are inherited by your family, friends, or even non-profits after you die. Will come into effect only after the death of the person who made it.
What happens if I die without a Will?
When a person dies without creating a Will, he/she is said to have died intestate. Dying intestate compels the family of the deceased to spend a lot of money and time on acquiring the estate. It is necessary to create a Will so that your hard-earned money and assets are distributed among your family and friends as per your wish.
Should I wait for retirement to make a Will?
Life is unpredictable. The only certainty in life is Death. You should be prepared for the inevitable circumstances and start thinking about making a Will to avoid any legal and financial grief to your loved ones.
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