Muhammed Ali Boxing

Lessons to learn from Celebrity Wills – Part Two

Do you know what Paul Walker, Audrey Hepburn, Prince and Muhammed Ali have in common?

They have all left behind valuable lessons about legacy planning that we could all learn from, regardless of our net worth or status.  After a celebrity passes away, the world often learns more about what they were worth and how well (or poorly) they may have planned for the distribution of their estate. 

In the previous article, we discussed what we can learn from the estates of Paul Walker and Audrey Hepburn. Now, we will see what lessons we can learn from the passing of Prince and Muhammed Ali.

Prince: Preparing a Will is critical to help avoid confusion

Prince Rogers Nelson, more commonly known as Prince, died at the age of 57 on 21 April 2016. The “Purple Rain” artist was a relatively private individual, but he left behind a highly successful musical legacy and a staggering USD $300 million (£230 million) estate.

Soon after his death, it was reported that he did not prepare a Will. His failure to do so resulted in dozens of people coming forward and claiming to be an heir, including previously unknown ex-wives, children, siblings and other distant relatives.

After many months of legal drama, a Probate Judge confirmed that Prince’s sister and five half-siblings would inherit the millions he left behind. Given reports of past unpleasant legal battles between Prince and his half-siblings, do you think this is what Prince would’ve wanted? Possibly not, but we’ll never know for sure.

What’s the lesson to learn from this celebrity Will? Having a Will would have made his intentions clear and ensured that his only heirs were those that he designated.

Muhammed Ali: Plan for more than assets.

Boxing legend, Muhammed Ali, had been ill for many years before his passing so it was no surprise that he had taken the time to plan for, not only his estate worth over USD $80 million (£61 million) but for how exactly he wanted the world to bid farewell to him.

Mr Ali’s Will included very explicit instructions for his multi-day memorial service, which included a festival, an Islamic funeral and an extravagant public memorial to include over 15,000 of his fans. His wishes were carried out according to his Will.

Some of us desire an elaborate send-off, but others do not. We all have different personalities and so the important point here is to think about any special wishes you may have for your funeral or memorial service. This ensures you get the farewell you want or how you may want your remains cared for.

A Will can remove any uncertainty in that area too.  A funeral plan can allow you to state all these wishes in advance and by purchasing a plan ahead of time, you can save your loved ones, from the financial burden of finding the money to give you the send-off you deserve.

If any of the things mentioned in these articles have given you pause for thought, get in touch with me here.

Catherine Sawbridge