When it comes to estate planning, many celebrities opt to leave behind a Will to ensure their assets are distributed according to their wishes. However, there have been several high-profile cases where famous individuals did not leave behind a Will. This has caused chaos and confusion for their loved ones. Would you have suspected some of these celebrities not being prepared, and not having Wills in place?

Here are 10 celebrities who did not leave behind a Will:

    1. Prince: When the musician died in 2016, his family and loved ones fought a legal battle in court over his multi-million dollar estate between his siblings.
    2. Heath Ledger: The actor passed away in 2008 without a Will. His daughter’s guardianship and financial support were determined by the court.
    3. Jimi Hendrix: The legendary musician died in 1970 without a Will, which lead to a lengthy legal battle over his estate.
    4. Bob Marley: The iconic reggae musician died in 1981. No Will. His family battled it out in court over his assets.
    5. Martin Luther King Jr.: The civil rights leader did not leave behind a Will. His wife and children fought in court over his estate and assets. Would you have suspected him to not have a Last Will
    6. Jim Morrison: The Doors frontman passed away in 1971, which (you guessed it) lead to a legal dispute over his assets.
    7. Bruce Lee: The martial arts legend died in 1973 before he could create a Will. His wife and children wrestled over his assets and estate in court. Seems like there are a lot of wives pitted against their children.
    8. Janis Joplin: The singer died in 1970. No legal documentation was found. This lead to (you guessed it!) a legal dispute.
    9. James Dean: The actor, who passed away in 1955, did not leave behind a Will. His father took control of his estate (well, that one is different than the others!) Is that what he wanted?
    10. Jimi Hendrix: The musician passed away in 1970 without leaving a Will, leading to yet another court battle.

 

It’s important to note that not having a Will can have major consequences for the distribution of assets, and to the care of children and other dependents. It can also lead to disputes and legal battles among loved ones. These examples of celebrities who did not leave behind a Will serve as a vital reminder of the importance of a Will.

We have written a lot about the importance of Wills and estate planning. Estate planning typically involves creating a number of legal documents  (Will and Testament, trusts, powers of attorney, documents and healthcare directives). But estate planning is also the process of organizing and managing your assets during your lifetime and determining how they will be distributed after your death. It involves making decisions about things like who will inherit your assets, who will manage your affairs if you become incapacitated, and how your assets will be used to provide for your loved ones. These documents allow you to specify your wishes and appoint individuals to carry out your instructions. It is obvious as to why estate planning is important, but many people do not properly plan out their estate or their Last Will and Testament. If ordinary people are not properly planning out their estate, you can imagine the mistakes that celebrities make.

Here are some major mistakes celebrities make when it comes to estate planning: 

1. The most glaringly obvious one is to not have a Last Will in place. What happened when Jimi Hendrix died? What happened when Prince died? What happened when Amy Winehouse died? Everything was a legal mess. 

2. To create a letter of wishes for your Executor. This  makes sense, because you do not want a letter to contravene the wishes in your Last Will. You want to have everything carried out in your Last Will and Testament the way it is written. 

 3. Pick a great choice for Executor. You probably don’t want to be the type of person who leaves everything to their butler (one celebrity made that mistake). 

 4. This is a no-brainer, but tell your Executor where your Will is stored. Yes, it sounds obvious, but Olympian Florence Griffith Joyner did not do this when she passed away. You can read more on that here

Keep all of the above in mind when planning for your estate and creating your Will. 

When it comes to writing a Will, most people focus on ensuring that their loved ones are taken care of after they are gone. However, there have been a number of strange and unusual wills throughout history that have left people scratching their heads. From pets inheriting millions of dollars to bizarre clauses that must be followed in order to receive an inheritance, these top 10 strangest wills showcase the eccentricities and quirks of the wealthy and famous.

Top 10 Weirdest Wills:

1.Ted Williams: In 2005, the famous baseball player left half of his estate to his son and the other half to a cancer charity. However, he also included a clause in his Will stating that his body should be frozen after his death.

 

2. Leona Helmsley: In 2006, the billionaire hotelier left $12 million to her dog, Trouble, in her Will. The amount was later reduced to $2 million by a judge, but it was still a significant portion of her $4 billion estate.

 

3. James Gray: In 2007, the eccentric millionaire left his entire $5 million estate to the University of California, Berkeley, with the stipulation that the money be used to fund research into extraterrestrial intelligence.

 

4. Lady Mary Heath: In 2009, the British socialite left her entire $65 million fortune to her pet parrot, Coco. However, the Will was later deemed invalid because it was not properly witnessed.

 

5. Prince: In 2011, the famous musician left no Will when he died, leading to a legal battle between his siblings over his estimated $300 million estate.

 

6. Karl Lagerfeld: In 2014, the French fashion designer left his entire $200 million fortune to his cat, Choupette, in his Will.

 

7. Leona Hemsley: In 2015, the billionaire hotelier left her entire $2.9 billion estate to a charitable trust, with the stipulation that none of the money be used to fund animal rights organizations or medical research involving animals.

 

8. B.B. King: In 2016, the eccentric millionaire left his entire $30 million estate to his fifteen children, with the stipulation that they all had to take DNA tests to prove that they were his biological offspring.

 

9. Denise Coates: In 2017, the British billionaire left her entire $3.8 billion fortune to her five children, with the stipulation that they must all work for her company, Bet365, for at least five years in order to inherit their share of the estate.

 

10. Aretha Franklin: In 2018, the famous musician left her entire $80 million estate to her four children, with the stipulation that they must all attend college and earn degrees in order to inherit their share of the estate.

These top 10 weirdest wills demonstrate the unique and sometimes eccentric ways in which wealthy individuals choose to distribute their assets after they are gone. From frozen bodies to pets and charitable trusts, these unusual clauses show that even in death, the wealthy and famous continue to make headlines and defy expectations. You can read more here.

 

Denver Broncos

Pat Bowlen, the billionaire owner of the Denver Broncos, passed away with what was supposed to be an orderly, organized, and air-tight estate plan. Pat Bowlen was a former owner of the Denver Broncos, a professional American football team in the National Football League (NFL). He was the team’s owner from 1984 until his death in 2019, and during his ownership, the Broncos won three Super Bowl titles and made it to the playoffs numerous times. Bowlen was highly regarded as one of the most successful and influential owners in the NFL, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019. Pat Bowlen purchased the Broncos in 1984 and the franchise won three Super Bowls during his ownership. It was estimated that he purchased the Broncos for a cool $78 million dollars. Bowlen ceded control of the team in July 2014 when he acknowledged that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Bowlen passed away in 2019 and the Pat Bowlen Trust has assumed ownership since then. 

Everything was supposed to go smoothly after his death. 

The exact opposite happened. 

Bowlen’s surviving family members, which included his seven children from two marriages, his three siblings (who were various co-owners at different points in time with their own children) all complicated the estate plan with their constant bickering. 

The complications with the estate plan are as follows:

    1.  The removal three trustees as the estate’s conservator, and bickering about the appointment of an  independent party to serve as the estate’s conservator.
    2. The current trustees declined a succession plan submitted by Pat’s two daughters from his first marriage, Amie Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace. Annabel Bowlen—Pat’s second wife—“became very upset” when she learned that Beth progressed toward ascension as the controlling owner.

 

Essentially, even though Pat had everything planned out, family bickering became a contentious problem. You can read more, here