The idea of being a wealthy and famous celebrity is something many people dream about, but few people consider the problems that a lot of celebrities face. Even though many celebrities have excellent advisors there to help them, they just as often don’t get good advice, and in the end, they can leave behind any number of estate planning problems.
Though she died in 1962, Marilyn Monroe remains one of the more famous celebrities of modern times. Even the clothes she wore have become incredibly valuable. When she died, Monroe left three quarters of her estate to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg. After Strasberg died 20 years later, his third wife inherited all of his property, including the Monroe estate. Because Monroe didn’t place her property in trust, someone she had never met ended up inheriting most of her possessions.
Former wife of real estate multibillionaire Harry Helmsley, Leona Helmsley died leaving behind a massive estate. She also left no inheritance for two grandchildren, but instead chose to give $12 million to a trust to care for her dog. That choice caused many people to question her ability to make reasonable choices, and her estate wound up in legal battles for years.
Steve McNair, a former NFL quarterback, died young in 2009, leaving behind a wife and child, as well as a mother for whom he had purchased a home. But like many young people, McNair had no estate plan at all. His estate had to pay a very large tax bill, and because he had titled his mom’s home in his name, she had to leave it.