Legendary singer, Aretha Franklin succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 76 on August 16, 2018, and she was accorded funeral rites usually reserved for heads of state. But the diva who famously demanded respect, sadly, died without a will.
Her estate is subject to probate, and a long-drawn-out public legal proceeding to hear claims by her four children and other relatives—an undignified end for music royalty.
While Ms. Franklin was a genius by most measures and her musical legacy lives on, she appears to have had a blind spot when it came to money and, perhaps, mortality. A minister's daughter, the Queen of Soul, was known to demand payment in cash before performing live, and keep the cash near her, onstage.
Probate proceedings have often resulted in public family fights and significate legal fees. Moreover, music rights owned by an artist heighten the stakes and greed. The case of Prince, who died in 2016, without a will, has reportedly led to family disputes and revocation of a multimillion-dollar music deal.
Instead of leaving a legacy defined on her terms, Ms. Franklin's family is subject to a public probate proceeding, which can turn ugly.
If you do not have a will or know you have a blind spot around dealing with money and planning appropriately, please call and let us try to help you.
This article was written by a veteran financial journalist. While the sources are believed to be reliable, the information is not intended to be used as financial advice without consulting a professional about your personal situation.
This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Private Group Wealth Management, LLC, and is not intended as legal or investment advice.
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