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If you haven't heard it before, it bears repeating: dying without a will can cause unnecessary familial strife and financial strain, to say nothing of the delay in probate for sorting out your estate. And nowhere is that strife, strain, and delay more apparent than after celebrity deaths, with children, exes, and even labels and studios fighting over celebrity estates.
Even when a celebrity dies with a will, sorting out the estate can be contentious. When they die without one? Get ready for some intestate hostilities. Here are three celebrities who famously died without a will.
Considering The Purple One's output during his career, both as an artist and a producer, his vast estate was valued at an estimated $300 million. And with no spouses or children, the estate would, absent a will and by Minnesota law, go to his surviving siblings. Fortunately, it doesn't seem like Prince's full sister, Tyka Nelson, and half-siblings are at odds over the estate. Yet.
When the West Coast gangsta rap crooner passed away in 2011, his wife at the time, Latoya Calvin, was thrust into a battle with Dogg's children from a previous marriage, even arguing over whether his own mother should be declared administrator of his estate. While the children are worried about whether they'll be taken care of following any probate court decisions, most state laws dictate that when a person dies without a will, that person's surviving spouse is entitled to inherit bulk of the estate.
Inheritances don't always go to children or surviving spouses. When Winehouse died without a will, her estate went to her parents. Shockingly, that estate was only valued at $4.66 million at the time of her passing, and, due to British intestacy laws, bypasses her brother and any other close friends or significant others.
Don't put your friends, family, and loved ones through similar conflicts. Draft and execute a will (or amend an existing one) with the help of an experienced local estate planning attorney.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.