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Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid

Just like the rest of us, celebrities are not immune to making estate-planning mistakes. Here’s how to avoid the errors made by the rich and famous and make sure that all of your wishes are taken care of.

Aretha Franklin left no will.

Legendary singer Aretha Franklin passed away in August at the age of 76. Unfortunately for her children, she didn’t have a will at the time of her death, which will likely lead to lengthy and expensive court battles. A will allows you to inform those of your wishes and makes it easier on your loved ones.

James Gandolfini had a will, but not a great estate plan.

When Sopranos actor James Gandolfini passed away suddenly, he had a will. Unfortunately, he didn’t plan everything correctly, leading to massive federal and estate taxes for his loved ones to deal with. Establishing the documents of an estate plan will help you streamline your affairs much easier.

Heath Ledger failed to update an old will.

Ledger’s estate went entirely to his parents and siblings because he failed to update an old will. As a result, his daughter was left out. You should always review and update important documents as necessary, making sure the beneficiaries understand the responsibility of managing their inheritance.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman didn’t establish a trust.

Hoffman didn’t want “trust fund kids” and ended up costing his family around $12 million. Because he didn’t establish a trust, any other life-altering event that happens to his kids or his partner could affect the amount of money they received. Estate planning can be complicated, so it’s best to discuss with a certified financial planner as well as an attorney to ensure that your wishes are carried out. 

Don’t make celebrity estate planning mistakes.

If you have questions about how to avoid estate planning mistakes, or if you want to establish an estate plan for you and your family, contact us today.  Our team at Chatterton and Associates will guide you through crucial areas of the estate planning process to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of. 


The Team at Chatterton & Associates

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