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The year of the Celebrity death

June 17, 2016


2016 has seen a spate of celebrity deaths, some shocking and unexpected. It is clear to see that the unexpected can happen to any of us. So what can we learn from these celebrities estate planning?


David Bowie was very clear about his funeral wishes and about which of his loved ones should benefit from his estate. There was no funeral held for him. Instead, his close family scattered his ashes following a Buddhist ceremony in Bali. He left an estate of £70m to his wife, Iman, and his two children, along with leaving £1.4m to his long-standing assistant and £700,000 to the nanny to his eldest child. Other’s also benefited from remaining assets under his Will.


Ronnie Corbett is said to have sold his £1.3m home in 2003 to prevent his children from facing a large inheritance tax bill. At death he lived in a bungalow worth £250,000. He is thought to have gifted his daughter’s cash from the sale of the property in the hope he would live for more than 7 years from doing so thereby making the gifts IHT free.


Prince died suddenly and it seems he did not leave a will setting out what he wanted to happen to his £200m estate. He isn’t the first celebrity to die without a will and undoubtedly won’t be the last. If state law where he lived ends up dictating who gets what from his estate, his siblings will most likely inherit everything as he died unmarried and without living parents or children. No one likes to think about dying young, but Prince tragic lay highlights the importance of making a will however old you are.


Everyone should draw up a will and it’s equally as important to review it regularly once you have one, to ensure it meets with your wishes and your circumstances. We offer free storage of your Will and also free registration on the Certainty National Will Database.



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