Estate cases of high-profile clients are often tragic examples of estate planning gone wrong. Seasoned professionals like John Branca attorney are well aware of the problems that can crop up when a will is not correctly set up for an entertainer. It’s hard to believe that artists like Prince sometimes don’t even have a will when they pass or become incapacitated. Unfortunately, that is the case for many people, whether they are famous or not. Here are three well-known estate cases that illustrate the challenges of estate planning.
1. Howard Hughes
In 1976, Howard Hughes passed away and left a fortune behind without a proven will. Howard was a leader in the aviation industry as well as a film director who was famous for his unconventional behavior. When people learned that Hughe’s estate was being divided, over 600 people laying claim to a piece of the pie showed up to court. The judge presiding over the case decided to split the estate among Hughe’s cousins, his uncles’ grandchildren, and his stepchildren. Having a lawyer who understands estate planning like John Branca attorney could have prevented some of these challenges.
2. Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix, famous for his outstanding guitar playing, died young at age 27 in 1970. His estate is now one of the most litigated in the entire history of entertainment law, as battles involving his name and likeness continued on for decades. This is another case of no will being prepared before his unexpected death and his loved ones battling over his finances and property as a result. His $80 million estate was left to be managed by his father, but after his father’s death, the battles among the family continued. The video below of John Branca attorney shows how Prince’s estate faced a similar fate.
3. Thomas Kinkade
The famous painter of light passed in 2012, and his estate was worth over $60 million. At the time of his death from an accidental overdose, Thomas was estranged from his wife and dating a woman named Amy Pinto. Amy claimed she had been given two handwritten wills that left her his Northern California home and $10 million. His wife challenged this, and the two were forced to settle in court over the issue in 2012.
Estate planning is essential to making sure loved ones are taken care of in the event of death or incapacitation. The stories above highlight that large estates often bring out hundreds of people looking to take advantage of those who have passed on. A great entertainment lawyer is essential to prevent the above from happening to high-profile clients.