If you are worried that you don’t have the financial means to hire a good estate planning attorney, don’t fret. Even the richest don’t always get the best advice.Even celebrities aren’t immune from making estate planning mistakes. Monumental Estate Planning Blunders of 5 Celebrities gives some examples of blunders by the rich and famous.
Their list includes Leona Helmsely, Sammy Davis, Jr., Marilyn Monroe and The Doors frontman, Jim Morrison.
Fox Business writes:
Whether due to hubris, bad advice or just plain not planning on dying, celebs make the same mistakes as regular folks and then some.
Some of the financial faux pas include Monroe leaving most of her estate to her acting coach Lee Strasberg. Strasberg’s third wife, Anna, eventually hired a company to license Monroe’s products, which involved hundreds of companies including Mercedes-Benz and Coca-Cola. In 1999, many of Monroe’s belongings were auctioned off, including the gown she wore to President John F. Kennedy’s birthday party, for more than $1 million. Strasberg ended up selling the remainder of the Monroe estate to another branding company for an estimated $20 million to $30 million, according to a remembrance of the star by NPR in 2012.
The infamous “Queen of Mean” died with a truly rich problem: dying with too much money. The widow of real estate magnate Harry Helmsley was a multibillionaire, and at the time of her death intended she wrote that she wanted her estate to provide for the care of hre dog “and such other charitable activities as the trustees shall determine…
Sammy Davis Jr.
Singing and dancing legend Sammy Davis Jr. died in 1990. He was a member, along with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, of the iconic Rat Pack. Despite a long career in show business, acknowledged posthumously with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Davis’ estate had dwindled from his heyday to the time of his death. When he died, he left behind a large tax bill that the estate was unable to pay.
Similar to Monroe’s misstep, Jim Morrison, the iconic singer from the ’60s band The Doors, left his estate to his girlfriend, or common-law wife, Pamela Courson, who then died shortly thereafter with no will. “So Jim Morrison’s estate went to the father-in-law that probably hated him,” says Nass. “(Courson) died from an overdose, and then her estate, including the interest in Jim Morrison’s estate, went to her parents,” says Nass.