top of page

Estate Planning Lessons from Chadwick, Walt, and Eddie

Estate Planning is universal, whether you are a mogul, a rock legend, or the average Floridian. The impacts of your estate plan reverberate if you are an octogenarian or a star taken too soon. There are lessons to be learned from the estate planning experiences of these household names. Chadwick Boseman, who brought the Black Panther to the life and left us too soon, had no estate plan. Walt Disney, who touched our lives in so many from creating Mickey Mouse, to shaping Central Florida tourism, chose a will-based plan. Rock legend Eddie Van Halen, who changed rock-and-roll forever, with his 1970s' American rock band Van Halen, had a trust-based plan.

These plans (or lack of plans) can highlight the benefits and drawbacks and issues in the estate planning process:

In the case of Boseman, without a plan his estate was subject to California intestacy laws. His wife and parents ultimately settled the estate, but the time-consuming process was subject to attorneys’ and court fees, inheritance tax issues, lack of creditor protection and scrutiny that could have been avoided with basic estate planning.

Walt Disney was a true pioneer who left an incredible legacy. His vast fortune and wishes are an open book, literally, since he opted for a will-based plan. His plan made his wishes known so that the probate court could carry them out, but this plan did not provide any advantage in avoiding estate taxes. Although laws have changed since his passing, his estate was subject to higher legal fees and costs, had limited protection from creditors, and the specifics of his property distribution and beneficiaries are forever part of the public record.

Rock Legend, Eddie Van Halen’s death broke the hearts (mine especially) of fans around the world. His estate was complex and included his amazing catalog of music, properties, monetary assets, blended families, and business interests. It is widely accepted that he utilized a Trust-based estate plan, likely a combination of Revocable Living Trusts and/or Irrevocable Trusts. This structure allowed him to maintain privacy, his heirs to incur lower legal fees, and gave his estate the ability to avoid or limit estate and gift tax issues.

All legends come to pass away, as do we. Estate planning makes this eventuality easier for you and your loved ones. Whether it is a Living Trust or Will-Based Plan, whether your concern is privacy, limiting family drama, or protection from creditors, we are here to help. Contact the team at KLG for your complimentary consultation.

43 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page