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Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Estate Planning / Estate Planning Enabled Celebrities to Continue Earning After Death

Estate Planning Enabled Celebrities to Continue Earning After Death

Smart planning on behalf of some famous celebrities and other pop figures means their earning power didn’t come to an end when they did, according to a website that tracks this sort of thing.

“John Lennon was tragically murdered in 1980 when he was exiting a limousine outside his New York City apartment,” according to smartasset.com.

Money bag
Money bag

Following his death, the estate bearing his name was passed to his wife, Yoko Ono. While Lennon was still living, Ono invested his money in a variety of assets and thus when he passed, his estate was believed to be worth about 220 million pounds. Since his passing, the Beatle’s image and royalty payments continue to bring in about $12 million annually.”

The list goes on:

  • Elvis Presley, who died of a heart attack in 1977, still brings in $55 to $60 million a year through considerable music collection and the tourist attraction his family made of the Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn.

  • Marilyn Monroe was the victim of a still-mysterious drug overdose in 1962, but her estate “reportedly brings in $30 million annually in licensing fees,” the website states.

  • “Despite reportedly being on the brink of bankruptcy at the time of his death, the Michael Jackson Estate has brought in more than $700 million in the five years since his death.”

  • Cancer claimed Jamaican Reggae artist Bob Marley in 1981, which Smartasset.com noted was a sad day for his many fans. “However, he left behind a legacy that will last forever. Marley’s estate is reportedly worth $130 million dollars. This can be owed to the continued popularity of his music, along with millions of dollars brought in annually by various kinds of merchandise and licensing deals.”

  • “Heath Ledger, who starred as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight,’ died tragically in early 2008 of what is believed to be an accidental prescription drug overdose,” the site states. “His will, written before his daughter’s birth, left all his assets to his parents and three sisters. The Ledger family has decided to leave the entirety of the Australian actor’s estate to his young daughter, Matilda Rose. Ledger unfortunately passed before the release of ‘The Dark Knight,’ but the movie’s box office success added another $20 million to his estate.”

Obviously not everyone is going to continue to be a major breadwinner after they are no longer breathing, but these examples do provide some evidence of how good estate planning can carry on a person’s legacy.

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