Minnesota Probate | Dying Intestate: Too Many Famous People Also Make This Mistake

Hopefully, you’re among the roughly 49% of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 who have already created a Will or another type of estate plan.

Minnesota Probate Medical AssistanceHowever, if you just keep putting off this critical task, you really should try to correct this oversight at your earliest convenience.

Procrastinating in obtaining a Will greatly increases the chances that those you love the most may inherit nothing – especially if they’re not blood relatives or “next of kin.” Dying “intestate” (without a Will) means that by default, you’re giving your state’s statutes the power to select your beneficiaries for you.

Please consider contacting your Minnesota estate planning attorney today so you can obtain the help you need. In the meantime, feel free to review the names below of some of the famous people who also forgot to create Wills. Hopefully, you’ll decide to leave gifts of different types to your various loved ones, friends, and favorite charitable causes.

Famous People Who Failed to Create a Will Before Dying

  • Abraham Lincoln. Although he was a lawyer and served as our nation’s 16th President, he still overlooked creating a Will prior to his assassination in 1865. Fortunately, since he was married, that increased the chances that his loved ones received most of his wealth.  However, any close friends or others he might have wanted to provide for were surely prevented from benefitting from his estate;
  • “Sonny” Bono of “Sonny and Cher” fame. Although his birth name was Salvatore Phillip Bono, most of us will always remember him as one of the artists who sang “The Beat Goes On” and “I’ve Got You Babe” with his (then) wife, the singer Cher. Many of today’s younger entertainment fans may also know him as Chaz Bono’s dad. Mr. Bono died back in 1998 due to a skiing accident;
  • Pablo Picasso. You would think this highly accomplished painter might have created an elaborate Will to benefit some of the many people who added substance to his life. Yet like many others, he overlooked this important task. As his Bio.com profile indicates, Picasso was “one of the greatest and most influential artists of the twentieth century.” Although he passed away long ago in 1973, many will always recall his singular contributions to Surrealism and Cubism;
  • Other musicians, singers, and rock stars who failed to create a Will. These include John Denver, jazz great John Coltrane, George Gershwin, Tupac Shakur, and Keith Moon – still remembered by Baby Boomers as the drummer for the group known as “The Who;”
  • Additional artists, writers, and comedians who died intestate. These include comedian Chris Farley of Saturday Night Live fame, actor Sal Mineo who starred in the film “Rebel

Without a Cause,” the very bright yet volatile comedian Lenny Bruce, actor Peter Lorre, actress Jayne Mansfield, and poet Dylan Thomas;

  • Other famous people who died without a Will include: Billionaire Howard Hughes and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

Although you may think you’re in good company to still be without a Will, keep in mind that failing to create an estate plan often means:

  1. Large sums of money you left behind will be wasted during the lengthy time period it may take to disburse all of the wealth you left behind. It’s been said that it cost approximately $30 million to settle Picasso’s estate – funds that his loved ones or various charitable groups could have put to far greater use;
  2. You stretch out the grieving period in an agonizing way for those who truly loved you. No one wants to be handling critical financial matters while they’re grieving, even if they hire an attorney to appear in court on their behalf;
  3. Critical living expenses needed by some of your sickest distant relatives may go unmet while your estate is being settled;
  4. Your state’s intestacy statutes can easily wind up giving your entire fortune to a sibling or parent who always treated you very poorly while you were still alive. No one needs a “laughing heir” who will laugh all of the way to the bank, knowing you never intended for him/her to inherit a penny from you;
  1. Public or charitable causes you greatly loved will never see a penny of your wealth. Surely we should all try to do something good with at least part of our estate at the end of our lives – preferably something that will benefit those in great need.

Minnesota Probate Lawyers

Free Initial Consultations

Contact the Flanders Law Firm today. The firm offers free estate planning consultations to all potential clients. Call(612) 424-0398.

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