It’s surprising to note how many of the rich and famous have died without having a legally recognised Will. You would think that with their fame, fortune, teams of representatives (including lawyers for every aspect of their professional and personal lives) and the knowledge that their assets and investments will continue to grow – even after their potentially untimely death – having a Will would be essential.
However, some of the most successful celebrities have died without a Will – causing years of expensive legal battles between family members which no doubt cause irreparable damage to the family unit. Instead of grieving together, they’re torn apart by escalating lawyers fees and lengthy court appearances and appeals. The last thing that anyone (including those that have passed) would want would be to cause or suffer such distress. However, by not planning for the inevitable, this is often the result.
Further, whilst the legitimate family battle it out in the courts, given the profile of these celebrities and the lack of a legal Will, countless potential claimants often start coming out of the woodwork. Everyone from secret children had out of wedlock to distant relatives through to previously-unknown partners of every description, the chance to inherit even a small portion of these large estates is enough for anyone with the time, resources and confidence to give it a go!
A Few Notable Celebrities Include:
- Aretha Franklin – had no legal Will when she died even though her estate was valued at around $US80 million.
- Prince – had no legal Will so a long legal battle ensued. However, interestingly documentary filmmaker Ian Halperin believes that a valid will exists somewhere in Toronto. This Will has yet to be located.
- Kurt Cobain – unfortunately his Will was deemed incomplete which has lead to many legal battles between his widow Courtney Love and Kurt’s ex bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic.
- Amy Winehouse – with no legal Will in place, her estate defaulted to her closest living relatives: her parents.
- Heath Ledger – had a Will but it had not been updated in the 5 years prior to his untimely death so did not include Michelle Williams and their daughter Matilda. Given the relationship between his family (who inherited his estate) and his ex-partner and daughter, assurances were made that both Michelle and Matilda would be well taken care of. However, if this relationship did not exist, Heath’s ex partner and daughter would have no legal rights to any part of his estate.
- Peter Brock – died before completing his Will which meant his estate went entirely to his children. His longtime partner Julie Bamford was unfortunately not legally entitled to anything.
- Pablo Picasso – did not have a legal Will and his heirs – an explosive mix of wives, mistresses, legitimate and illegitimate children – were left to fight it out in the courts.
Whilst us mere mortals might not be fortunate enough to amass estates of such grandeur, it is impossible not to leave behind something – whether it’s jewellery, pets, a house, car, collection of books or even just a wardrobe of clothing – when we die. No matter how big or small, what we leave behind should go to the ones we love – family, partners, friends or perhaps a meaningful charity. However, only a legally recognised Will ensures that your final wishes are carried out uncontested.
This is Where We Come in.
Your Wills is an Australian-based company all about helping you save time and money by doing your own Will, in your own time, at an affordable price.
Despite what you might think, if your Will is simple and straight forward, you don’t have to fork out money to cover expensive legal fees, or take time out of your busy day to see a legal professional.
Your Wills offers you a simple, straightforward solution that lets you draft and complete a legally recognised Will online.
Here’s The Fast Facts:
- There are only 9 simple steps from start to finish to complete your Will
- No payment required until after you’ve completed Step 8 – then review and submit your Will
- Once complete, just download the PDF, print and have two independent witnesses over the age of 18 need to witness you signing your Will and sign your Will as well. Done!
We also offer Will Sharing Service that allows you to share your Will with your Executor, Accountant, Lawyer, Family member/s and or Trusted Friend.
Ready to be a responsible grown up? Let’s create a will online.
Got questions? We’ve got answers: https://www.yourwills.com.au/faqs/
Or if you’ve got a more specific question, get in touch: email@example.com
Your Wills is proudly supported by SLF Lawyers, who have offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.