The horrible news of the death of Amy Winehouse was circulated recently, and she was a talented individual who certainly passed away before her time at just 27 years of age. She joins what they call the “27 Club,” a group of music superstars who all died at the tender age of 27.
This group includes Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson. Amy Winehouse became the first British woman to win five Grammy awards in 2006 for her album Back To Black. Her absence will inevitably leave a void in the music scene that will be felt for years.
Though her struggles with drug and alcohol abuse have been well documented, the cause of her death is not known at the present time. Because of the fact that Winehouse appeared to be someone who may not pay close attention to her financial affairs you may assume that she did not have a current estate plan in place. Fortunately for her family, Amy Winehouse did indeed have a current estate plan.
British law favors former spouses when it comes to succession unless the proper estate planning documents have been executed. Winehouse does have a former husband by the name of Blake Fielder-Civil who could have been in line to inherit her estimated $16.4 million legacy. But due to the fact that she had an ironclad estate plan in place her parents and her brother will be inheriting her legacy.
This sad story does serve to underscore the reasons why it is so important to have an estate plan in place even when you are a young adult. As soon as people are relying on your income you must have an income replacement vehicle in place, and when you have children you have to arrange for their care should you and your spouse pass away together in an accident.
Single parents have to take this even more seriously. If you do not currently have an estate plan in place, you would do well to arrange for a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney to devise a plan that ensures the well-being of those that you love.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.