The sudden death of Michael Jackson serves as a reminder to everyone that, no matter your age, you need to have your estate planning in order. The pop superstar died on Thursday, June 25th at 50 years old. The media is speculating as to how his estate will be handled and the future of his young children. No public statement has been made in regard to his personal planning and the media and the nation will wait anxiously to see how this unfolds. If Michael Jackson prepared a Trust the public will most likely never know the details as it will be held private, however, if he had a Will it becomes part of public record. In the state of California, a Will needs to be presented within 30 days. Jackson’s assets, royalties and the amount of debt he had accumulated most likely will lead to lengthy battles over his estate.
Steve Hartnett, Associate Director of Education for the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, was quoted in the Associated Press’ article Jackson May Be ‘Worth More Dead Than Alive’ explaining some of the options that Michael Jackson had to protect his family. “Jackson might have shielded some of his estate from creditors and ensured that his children were taken care of by placing a life insurance policy and other assets in an irrevocable trust.”