People tend to be fascinated by the lives of celebrities, and as a result, news outlets often discuss the way deceased celebrities plan their estates.
Sometimes it’s just interesting, but other times you can learn a bit about estate planning mistakes that you can avoid. With this in mind, let’s look at three different cases that could be described as estate planning nightmares.
Steve McNair was an NFL quarterback who passed away back in 2009 after being shot by his mistress. He did not have an estate plan in place directing the transfer of his financial resources. Because McNair died intestate it was up to the probate court to sort things out.
Since Steve McNair had significant financial resources, estate taxes were a big issue resulting in the probate court freezing the estate’s assets. His family was unable to access these resources even though his wife was appointed as the personal representative by the court.
Furthermore, McNair’s mother was forced to leave the home McNair had provided for her because his mother did not technically own the property.
Why would someone with so much money fail to plan ahead? You have to figure that he assumed that he would live a normal lifespan, but unfortunately no one can predict the future.
Once you’re actually an adult in your own right you are never too young to have an estate plan in place, and this case certainly highlights that fact.
Lee Strasberg was one of Marilyn Monroe’s acting teachers. She also received instructions from Strasberg’s wife, Paula. They were reportedly very close to Marilyn on a personal level in addition to the teacher-student relationships. This would be evidenced by the fact that Lee Strasberg inherited most of Marilyn Monroe’s estate.
After Paula passed away Strasberg got remarried to his third wife, Anna. She had never met Marilyn Monroe, but she made a fortune after her husband passed away when she sold the rights to Marilyn’s image for between $20 million and $30 million according to the NPR website.
Imagine someone that you never met inheriting your resources after you pass away.
Jim Morrison is a member of the so-called “27 Club,” which is comprised of a remarkable group of musicians who all passed away at the young age of 27.
He did not live a very long life, but he did accumulate significant wealth. And of course his music and image have been selling ever since his passing.
He left everything to his common-law wife Pamela Courson. She died not too long after Morrison did, and her parents inherited Morrison’s estate.
Reportedly, the singer’s parents negotiated with Courson’s family to receive a share of his estate. Although Morrison did not have a relationship with his parents when he died, and his will did not mention them, one would assume that he would not have wanted Courson’s parents to inherit his estate.
Parman & Easterday