With an untimely death, Whitney Houston will no longer produce any more songs, concerts, or movies. Therefore, the value of her current collection will cause her estate to soar.
As an example, Forbes.com reports, “Houston’s most famous song, I Will Always Love You, was the most downloaded single on iTunes the day after her death, sales spurred by fans such as the one who blogged that the Queen of Pop sang ‘the soundtrack to my life.’”
Like many celebrities, Houston struggled with a public separation from her husband, Bobby Brown, and with drug and alcohol addiction.
It’s predicted that Houston’s estate may make the Forbes magazine’s annual list of top-earning dead celebrities in 2012.
Last year (2011), other top earning estates were the estates of:
- Michael Jackson ($170 million)
- Elvis Presley ($55 million)
- Marilyn Monroe ($27 million)
- Charles Schulz ($25 million)
- John Lennon ($12 million)
Singer Amy Winehouse’s, who died at age 28 in 2011, estate also soared. Fortunately, after her divorce, she did update her estate plan so her parents and brother were beneficiaries, not her ex-husband.
Many of the rights to Whitney Houston’s work are owned by movie and record companies; so, they will benefit financially from her untimely death. It is not yet known whether she had comprehensive estate planning or whether she updated any existing plan after her separation, or not.
Legacy APC, A Trusts & Estates Law Firm is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.