12 music superstars who died without leaving a will

“Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, who reportedly had no will or trust, is only the latest instance of an entertainment giant apparently neglecting financial matters until it’s too late. These 11 other music superstars also sang or strummed their hearts out on the way to worldwide fame and untold fortune — only to fail to protect their portfolios and pass them safely on to heirs by neglecting to draw up a last will and testament. As the stories of these celebrities attest, everyone — rich or poor, famous or not — can make bad financial decisions. Soul and R&B legend Franklin, who passed on Aug. 16 from pancreatic cancer, was worth an estimated $80 million at the time of her death. Franklin’s four sons have reportedly filed paperwork as “interested parties” in her estate, while the Detroit Free Press has reported that a niece is petitioning to serve as “personal representative of the estate.”

“Some of the most important financial planning recommendations do not fall within the realm of investment, insurance or retirement planning, but instead involve estate planning with wills, powers of attorney and advance directives,” Tim Maurer, wealth advisor and director of personal finance for Buckingham and the BAM Alliance and author of “Simple Money,” told CNBC in April 2016 when Prince died of an accidental drug overdose at age 57.

“We avoid the discussion because it involves a topic we’d rather not consider, but while the probability of your imminent passing is low, the damage done from a lack of estate planning is so significant that it demands our immediate attention.”

— By CNBC’s
Kenneth Kiesnoski

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