Whitney Houston’s Estate Plan

Posted on Aug 2, 2015 in California Probate, California Trusts, California Wills, Estate Planning, San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Whitney Houston’s Estate Plan

Whitney Houston’s Estate Plan

We’ve written on this blog before about celebrities and their notoriously bad Estate Planning. Often times these super stars leave their billions, homes, cars, jewels, royalties and family members in a big huge state of confusion, read about some specific cases in this post.

With the recent passing of vocal icon Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, there has been quite a bit of media coverage regarding Houston’s estate. Whitney Houston’s Estate Plan was actually well in order and updated when she passed. She left everything in her estate in a spendthrift trust to her sole heir, her daughter Bobbi Nicole Brown. She was to get 10% of the large estate at age 21, 25% at 25 and the remainder of the estate at 30.

whitney-houston-profileAt the time of her death Bobbi Kristina Brown was only 22 and therefore had only received 10% of the estate. That may not seem like much but with an estate that’s speculated to have been around $20 million, that’s no pocket change! Houston’s Estate Plan did supposedly state that “if Bobbi Kristina were to die unmarried, without children of her own and had left no will and testament of her own, the estate would be divided between Whitney’s living relatives.”

So, what happens? It is still unknown but very unlikely that Bobbi Kristina had any sort of estate plan. She had only received her 10% of the Whitney Houston estate so the remaining portion of Houston’s estate would be divided between her living family members, her mother and two brothers.

The interesting part is what is to happen with the 10% that Bobbi Kristina did receive. Bobbi Brown, Bobbi Kristina’s father and Whitney’s ex-husband, is Bobbi Kristina’s next of kin however, complicating matters is Nick Gordon. Nick is Bobbi Kristina’s boyfriend who she has sometimes referred to as her “husband.” If he is in fact her husband and can prove that they were married that would change the way the 10% of Houston’s estate that was given to her daughter would be distributed. Add in to that the allegations of domestic abuse and possibly his contribution to her untimely death and you have the perfect set up for a very large and very messy court battle.

All in all this case serves as yet another reminder to all of us that we need to make sure to have our Estate Planning taken care of properly and thoroughly. Its a good thing Whitney Houston’s Estate Plan is pretty comprehensive as that saves the family some strife, especially since she had a stipulation about what should happen to her remaining Estate should her daughter die without a heirs.

Moral of the story: Get your Estate Plan laid out today with Gary and the team at GQ Law. They’re experts at helping people like you make sure their family, things and money are well taken care. If you have an estate plan, be sure to update it. Are they any new additions to the family? Marriages or births? What about subtractions? Has anyone passed away or left the family due to divorce? Does your Estate Plan need to be adjusted?

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