Estate issues and the death of David Bowie

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2016 | Estate Planning

Nevada residents may be mourning the loss of pop artist David Bowie, who died in January 2016. Information about the 69-year-old star’s estate planning may remain mostly private because of his careful attention to this interest from early on in his life. Reports indicate that the singer faced major financial challenges in the early days of his career, but after he married his second wife, he made strides to carefully manage his resources.

While most singers license the rights to their materials, he created “Bowie Bonds”, which he sold as a 10-year investment for $55 million. The rate of return was fixed at 7.9 percent, and he used the his copyrights and royalties as collateral. Although the music industry underwent some serious changes later in Bowie’s career that caused many musicians to earn significantly less in royalties, he was able to repay the purchaser completely and on time.

Because of his financial strategy, Bowie was able to provide a financially secure life for his family members. It is believed that he used trusts to manage his holdings, which eliminates the need for an extensive will and allows details concerning his estate, which is estimated to exceed $200 million in value, to be kept private. This contrasts with the difficulties faced by heirs of many deceased celebrities as struggles over their estates have resulted.

However, the benefits of early estate planning are not restricted to those who are famous or who have high-value assets. People who want to ensure that their family avoids serious legal challenges over assets after their death could use trusts to dictate the distribution of their resources. An estate planning lawyer can provide an overview of the types of trusts that might apply, discussing strategies for protecting those assets from potential financial challenges such as bankruptcy or a divorce settlement that an heir might face in the future.