The sad death of Elizabeth Edwards calls to mind the tragic passing of other luminaries in a way that only the death of another tremendously influential person can do. As a woman who died leaving behind dependent children, her passing also gives us reasons to think about our own estate planning in the case of our untimely death. As sad as such a situation may be to think about in depth, it critically important to be prepared for the grim event. The alternative is to leave behind heirs or organizations that could be placed in dire circumstances if one’s financial wishes after death are not clearly outlined.
Elizabeth Edwards was known for being a wealthy woman, but a wealthy woman with a heart dedicated to helping those who were less fortunate. We can safely assume that Elizabeth Edwards certainly had her affairs in order, as the difficult struggle she endured with cancer gave her time to do proper estate planning. But you would surprised at the rich and famous people in history who did not properly plan for their untimely death. We can learn financial lessons from the famous people who did not engage in this task that is critical for all, as death is inevitable.
Business Insider put together a list of stars who did not engage in proper estate planning, describing what they did in error. This list includes:
1. Jimi Hendrix
2. Justice Warren Burger
3. Heath Ledger
4. Princess Diana
5. Florence Griffith-Joyner (Flo Jo)
6. Michael Jackson
7. Marlon Brando
8. Sonny Bono
9. John Houston (Whitney Houston’s father)
10. Famed Tobacco Heiress Doris Duke