Celebrities Who Died Without a Will
With the death of beloved superstar Aretha Franklin last week, comes the news that she died without a will. Not only is this shocking for someone of her wealth, but she's not the only celebrity who left it up to the courts to decide who gets what after they pass away.
USDA Today shows us who else left this life without a legal will.
- Prince - died at age 57 on April 21, 2016. After months of people coming out of the woodwork to claim they are related to the music superstar, it was determined in 2017 by a Minnesota probate judge that his sister, Tyka Nelson, and five half-siblings are the heirs to the millions and millions of dollars he left behind.
- Michael Jackson - died at age 50 on June 25, 2009. Initially a will was not found, but one turned up from 7 years before his death. The estate tax case, which determines how much he was worth when he died, is still in the courts, and may not be resolved for another year.
- Amy Winehouse - died at age 27 on July 23, 2011. After going to court over the $4.6 million dollar estate, the whole thing was inherited by her parents. Her ex husband Blake Fielder-Civil, got nothing.
- Bob Marley - died at age 36 on May 11, 1981. Because of huge family fighting over Marley's estate, it still has not been settled, even after 37 years.
- Jimi Hendrix - died at age 27 on September 18, 1970. Another case of family feuding. The actual $80 million dollar estate was not settled until July 2015, but only after many lawsuits.
- Sonny Bono - died at age 62 on January 5, 1998. The estate was finally settled by his then wife Mary, who only became the executor after going to court. A love child made a claim, but in the end all of Bono's money went to his two children, Chaz Bono, and Christy Bono Fasce.
- Kurt Cobain - died at age 27 on April 5, 1994. With an estate estimated at $450 million dollars, a lot was stake for Cobain's widow Courtney Love. She managed to give away the rights to Cobain's name and likeness for a loan, and their daughter Frances Bean took ownership of a trust fund, which was one third of the estate, in 2010, when she turned 18.