Famous people who died intestate

Date: Dec 04, 2012

If you don't have a will, there are a number of implications for your family and that is true regardless of your lot in life.

No matter whether you are a famous movie star or Geoff the sales executive - estate planning is always important.

The famous musician Jimmi Hendrix was a man who died intestate and left a massive fortune to no nominated beneficiaries. The battle to control his millions took place over three decades and there was an added complication - his estate generated funds through post-mortem record sales.

Barry White, the famous soul singer was another person who didn't leave a directive for his fortune. When he died nine years ago at the age of 58 he left multiple ex-wives and nine children, who it is reported have been in dispute over the estate of their husband and father.

Even though it is reported that Bob Marley suffered from cancer for many months before his death, he failed to lay out orders for his estate and subsequently died without nominating beneficiaries or executors - this was only complicated as his estate continues to generates funds.

Sonny Bono - the Republican member of the House of Representatives cum singer - didn't have the benefit of time and died suddenly in a skiing accident. After his death, it is reported that arguments between his widow and his first wife began to surface.

One of the most famous artists of the 20th century - Pablo Picasso also failed to leave behind orders for who should benefit from his artwork, homes, cash, gold and bonds. It is reported that six heirs eventually were decided upon after a six-year $30 million court battle.

Away from the arts and music scene - Diana, the princess of Wales, also died suddenly. She did leave behind a valid will but attached to it was a letter to her godchildren, stipulating it was her wish they receive generous aspects of her estate. But because it was not considered legally valid, they received small gifts of sentimental value.

In what perhaps is a sad irony, the lawyer and 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, also died intestate. Even though he was murdered, it's surprising he didn't leave behind a directive, given the fact that he died at age 56 and life expectancy in 1865 wasn't much greater than that.

Talk to an experienced wills and estates lawyer to ensure that your estate and your desired beneficiaries are protected into the future.