Estate Distribution

January 5, 2023 Posted by MBW

Beloved rapper Artis Leon Ivey, Jr., better known by his stage name “Coolio”, sadly passed away on September 28, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. As often happens when a celebrity of such magnitude passes, questions immediately arose regarding the distribution of his estate. In Coolio’s case, the late actor provided no insight into his desires as to how his estate should be handled. This is because the “Gangster’s Paradise” rapper did not establish an estate plan prior to his untimely passing. As a result of dying without an estate plan in place, Coolio’s assets will be distributed in accordance with the intestate succession law of the state of his residence at the time of his death. These laws are rigid and make no accommodations for what a deceased individual might have wanted, despite how clear their wishes may seem from the outside. Without a Last Will and Testament in place, the intestate succession laws will distribute your estate in the manner decided upon by the state legislature.

​An estate plan lays out the wishes of an individual for the handling of their affairs, in the event they are unable to act on their own due to unavailability, incapacity or disability; as well as dealing with their assets after their death. Estates can vary widely in size and scope, but they are not exclusive to the wealthy. In fact, everyone should have an estate plan in place. The cornerstone of a good estate plan is a Last Will and Testament, a document which lays out how a person (called the testator in the context of a Will) would like their assets to be handled when their time comes. Your Will allows you to plan for the distribution of your assets at the time of your death and permits you to choose an Executor to oversee their distribution. There are other estate planning documents that are useful to everyone, including a Power of Attorney, a Health Care Proxy, and a Living Will. These documents allow you to further control how your affairs and estate will be managed. Executing these documents ensures that your estate will be distributed according to your wishes and not the directives laid out by the State.

​ As it stands, Coolio’s seven adult children stand to inherit equal shares of his estate. However, Coolio could have given it all to one child, all to a charity, establish a Trust to benefit his children or in any other manner he wished, had he only taken the time to sit down with a trusted legal professional and establish an estate plan. Don’t let yourself or someone you love find themselves in this situation. Contact us at Mackey Butts & Whalen, LLP to begin your estate planning journey today and ensure that what you leave behind is distributed according to your wishes.

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