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What We Can all Learn from David Bowie’s Estate Planning

Music stars are not generally known for their financial acumen or their estate planning. The families of music icons including Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain and Tupac Shakur have gone through nasty estate battles because these men failed to do adequate, if any, estate planning. The same cannot be said for music legend David Bowie, who recently died from liver cancer just days after his 69th birthday and the release of his final album.

Bowie admitted that he was not always wise in dealing with the considerable amount of money that he earned. In fact, in the 1970s and 1980s, he was reportedly near bankruptcy. However, that seems to have changed in the early 1990s after he married former supermodel Iman and moved to New York.

With the assistance of an investment banker, Bowie was able to turn his music catalog into a multi-million-dollar fortune. His investment banker said that Bowie not only provided lifelong financial security for himself, but ensured, through wise estate planning, that his family, including his two children, would be taken care of. Although details of his reported $200 million estate haven’t been revealed, it’s believed that most of it will go to Iman.

While most people don’t have the kind of assets that Bowie had, estate planning is still important. Many people have more than they realize when property values, investments, retirement savings and other assets are totaled up.

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Families have been known to get into ugly fights over relatively small sums and family heirlooms that may have little more than sentimental value. A Pennsylvania estate planning attorney can help you get your affairs in order so that your wishes are clear to your family when you’re no longer around.

Source: Forbes, “A Peek Into The David Bowie Estate: His Legacy Extends Beyond Music,” Danielle and Andy Mayoras, Jan. 14, 2016

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