The world of entertainment received some very sad news recently when the death of British singer Amy Winehouse was reported. Winehouse, a five-time Grammy award winner, was just 27 years of age when she was found dead in her London home. She joins the “27 Club” along with music legends Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, blues icon Robert Johnson, and Kurt Cobain, all of whom passed away when they were just 27 years old. At one point Winehouse was credited with reviving the British music scene, and she paved the way for a new wave of female artists.
Amy Winehouse was known for living a raucous and freewheeling lifestyle, so it would be natural assume that she may not have had her financial affairs in order. However, according to British newspapers, Winehouse did in fact have an ironclad estate plan in place. The estimated value of her estate is $16.4 million, and the heirs to this estate are her parents and her brother according to reports.
It was especially important for Amy Winehouse to have a well constructed, current legacy plan because of the fact that British law favors former spouses in succession cases. Winehouse did have a former husband who in fact happens to be imprisoned at the present time, and he may have been in line to assume ownership of her fortune that she not taken the appropriate steps to prevent this and assert her own wishes.
The case of Amy Winehouse underscores why it is important for younger people to have an estate plan in place. Individuals of all ages pass away for any number of reasons, and if you are unprepared your loved ones may wind up suffering the consequences. Even if you do not have the wealth of someone like Amy Winehouse, estate planning is still essential. If you are currently unprepared for the future, now would be a good time to take action to arrange for a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney.