3 MEGA-CELEBRITIES WHO DIED WITHOUT A WILL: DO NOT FOLLOW IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS!

Gabriel Katzner - December 22, 2015 - Estate Planning

A will documents who gets what (and when) after you die. Without a will, state law doles out your belongings. In many cases, your assets may end up in the hands of complete strangers.  That’s exactly what happened to these three mega-celebrities:

  1. James Dean. Dean died intestate (without a will) in 1955 at the age of 24. State law awarded most of his meager estate (he had only made three movies) to his father – now most of that is in the hands of his father’s relatives.

 His father did use some of that money to create a foundation to maximize the commercial value of his name, likeliness, and image. Ironically, Dean has consistently been one of the top 10 highest-earning deceased celebrities up until 2012. His income in 2015 alone was $8.5 million and he’s been deceased for over 60 years!

  1. Jimi Hendrix. Legendary singer and guitarist Jimi Hendrix died intestate in 1970 at the age of 27. Like Dean, the state awarded most of his estate to his father who created a family trust.

By 2002, his father had grown trust to $80 million. Jimi’s father left the fortune to his adopted daughter. In turn, she created trusts for almost everyone in the family – except Jimi’s own brother Leon. Although he sued, he never got a dime of the estate now worth $175 million. Clearly, there’s another story there.

  1. Pablo Picasso. The famous painter Pablo Picasso died intestate in 1973 at the age of 91. Given his age, it’s surprising that he did not assign a beneficiary to his estate (which today would have been valued at nearly $200 million).

His heirs, including Paloma Picasso, battled in courts with everyone who wanted part of his fortune – including the French government who alleged that Picasso owed millions in back taxes. His children received the bulk of his estate in the end, but not without a great deal of heartache.

Despite the differences in age, the above celebrities left millions of dollars on the table and started an avalanche of lawsuits by those who wanted a piece of the pie. The takeaway? Do not follow in their footsteps!

Make Your Intentions Crystal Clear in a Will or Trust

Regardless of whether you’re a famous actor, singer, or painter – or a regular working Joe or Jane, you have the power to make sure that your family, friends, or organizations get what you want them to have. The process is simple – make your intentions crystal clear by creating a will or other form of estate planning tool such as a trust drafted by an experienced attorney.

Call our office today to find out what you need to do to protect and provide those you choose and get a will in place.

You can schedule a call with us or reach us directly at 855.528.9637 to learn more about how best to plan today to protect those most important to you.

Gabriel Katzner

In 2002, Gabriel Katzner, the founding partner of Katzner Law Group received his Juris Doctorate with honors from the Fordham University School of Law. After spending the first 7 years of his legal career
practicing at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, an international law firm based in New York, he went on to found his own firm.

Gabriel Katzner has a track record, along with a vast number of
outstanding public reviews across platforms, of working hard on behalf of individuals who need assistance with comprehensive
estate planning services. Finding a lawyer who is knowledgeable about revocable and irrevocable trust planning, guardianship for minor children, asset protection, trust administration and probate,
as well as Medi-Cal / Medicaid planning is extremely important.

Years of experience: More than 17 years
Location: San Diego, CA



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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. Furthermore, it has received approval from attorney Gabriel Katzner, an experienced estate planning lawyer with over 17 years of legal expertise.

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