What Happens If I Die Without a Will? Anna Nicole Smith

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 in California Probate, California Trusts, California Wills, Estate Planning | Comments Off on What Happens If I Die Without a Will? Anna Nicole Smith

What happens if I die without a will?

Look to these celebrities for what NOT to do.

what-happens-if-i-die-without-willA lot of what happens you die without a Will, and really, without a proper and complete Estate Plan, depends on your assets. In any case, your estate will be left in Probate, a long legal process that sorts out where assets go, how much is owed in taxes, etc. If you have minor children, the will not likely end up where you had hoped they would and will get much less of your assets than they could with a proper Estate Plan.

Call our office to set up an appointment with Estate Planning attorney Gary Quackenbush to find out what would happen if you were to go without an Estate Plan and to make sure that you don’t go without one!

Here are a few celebrity examples of what not to do from Guardian Life Insurance Company

Anna Nicole Smith: Model, Play-boy Playmate and talk show host among other ties to fame-Had an estate plan written in 2001 and left everything to her only son Daniel, actually excluding any subsequent children or spouses. In one of the biggest news headlines of 2006, Nicole gave birth to a daughter just 3 days before Daniel died unexpectedly, Nicole died just as suddenly a few months later in 2007 and left her baby daughter to be dragged through a tremendous court process to get any of Nicole’s estate. See Anna Nicole Smith’s California Will online here.  Anna_Nicole_Smith

Heath Ledger: Well known for his roles in movies like Brokeback Mountain, 10 Things I Hate About You and as The Joker in The Dark Knight, Batman movie- died suddenly in 2008- Heath Ledger had a simple will that was outdated, he had a daughter with actress Michelle Williams in 2005 but there was no provision for neither Michelle nor their daughter. They had to go through a complicated and lengthy legal process to get anything awarded to his own daughter.heath ledger

Karen Carpenter: Singer and inner of 3 Grammys, 8 gold albums and 10 gold singles, died in 1983. Karen Carpenter had an Estate Plan but is was not complete in that it did not plan for the payment of Estate Taxes due. She only left $2721 in a bank account and the family ended up having to sell nearly all her illiquid assets (items that cannot be sold or traded for cash without losing a significant amount of value) to pay the http://www.the-way.co.uk/ taxes.

Other big name celebs who lost a lot of their estate due to poor or lacking estate planning

Elvis Presley– Estate Shrinkage of 73%

Marilyn Monroe– Estate Shrinkage of 55%

J.P. Morgan– Estate Shrinkage of 69%

On the other hand, take a look at Jackqueline Kennedy Onassis who with a proper and UPDATED Estate Plan lost only 3% of her $200 million estate at her death.Jacqueline_Kennedy_in_Venezuela

In summary, “What happens if I die without a will?” your heirs lose what you’ve worked hard to leave them. Although most of us don’t have anywhere near the amount of assets these celebrities did, we all have something and why wouldn’t we want to protect it with something as simple as an estate plan. All it takes is a quick visit with an Estate Planning attorney like Gary to get started. Call our office at 858-549-8600 or click here to request an appointment online.

Subscribe to our free Estate Planning Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our Estate Planning team.