When the need for comprehensive estate planning comes up, the discussion typically focuses on the importance of deciding how your estate is distributed shortly after your death. For some people, however, careful estate planning also helps determine how lucrative their estate continues to be long after they are gone. Consider, for example, the following estates that earned a fortune in 2019, brought to you by a Sacramento estate planning attorney at the Northern California Center for Estate Planning & Elder Law.
How Can an Estate Keep Earning Money?
For the average person, the assets they own at the time of death represent the vast majority of the money they will pass down to beneficiaries of the estate. For a select few, however, their estate continues to earn money long after they are gone because their fame continues to grow after their death. By way of illustration, consider the top estate earners for 2019:
- Nipsey Hussle –Hussle (often written as Hu$$le) was a west coast rapper who was fatally shot outside his store Marathon Clothing in South Los Angeles in March of 2019. The rapper’s songs were streamed 1.85 billion times this year alone which contributed significantly to his estate since he retained the rights to his music. For 2019, his estate brought in $11 million.
- Prince – The “Artist formerly known as Prince” passed away unexpectedly in 2016 after spending more than three decades in the music industry. Whether you love his music or not, you probably know who he is which undoubtedly contributed to the $12 million his estate earned in 2019..
- Marilyn Monroe – Gentlemen (and the rest of us apparently) continue to prefer this particular blonde. Marilyn Monroe died in 1962 – more than 50 years ago – yet her estate continues to earn a small fortune every year. In 2019, her estate earned $13 million.
- John Lennon — It’s probably not surprising that the former Beatle’s estate continues to earn a sizeable fortune each year. This year was particularly lucrative for the Beatles because it was the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road. In addition, Cirque du Soleil did a show in Las Vegas that features their music which helped John Lennon’s estate rake in $14 million for 2019.
- Seuss — Few children in America make is through childhood without reading a Dr. Seuss book. Apparently, the Cat in the Hat continues to be a favorite. In addition, Seuss’s estate made a licensing deal with Hallmark that is bringing in a significant income. Dr. Seuss’s estate earned $19 million for 2019.
- Bob Marley –One of the pioneers of reggae, Bob Marley is one of those celebrities who seems to grow larger – and richer – in death. Marley passed away in 1981, yet his face and name continue to be a valuable commodity, earning his estate the number five spot on the list with an income of $20 million for 2019.
- Arnold Palmer – Probably the most well-known name in golf, Palmer’s career spanned more than six decades. Palmer won 62 PGA Tour titles from 1955 to 1973, earning him fifth place on the Tour’s all-time victory list, trailing only Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, and Ben Hogan. He also won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and in 1974 was one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Arnold passed away in 2016; however, his estate earned $30 million in 2019.
- Charles Schulz – Another American icon, the Peanuts creator passed away in 2000. This year, however, marked the 70th anniversary of Peanuts and Snoopy – who are clearly still earning Schulz’s estate a tidy sum at $38 million.
- Elvis Presley –The King of Rock n Roll has been gone for over 40 years, yet his home (Graceland) remains the second most-visited house in the U.S., after the White House, with 650,000 visitors annually. His estate continues to earn a staggering fortune each year as well, hitting $39 million for 2019.
- Michael Jackson – Depending on your taste in music, it may (or may not) seem fitting that the King of Pop out-earned the King of Rock n Roll in 2019, marking Jackson’s seventh year in a row in the number one spot. For 2019, Jackson’s estate earned $60 million. If you think that’s impressive, last year the sale of his stake in a music publishing company, a new record deal, and a Halloween special brought in a jaw dropping $400 million.
Contact a Sacramento Estate Planning Attorney
Please download our FREE estate planning checklist. If you have questions or concerns about estate planning, or you would like to get started on your plan, contact a Sacramento estate planning attorney at the Northern California Center for Estate Planning & Elder Law by calling (916)-437-3500 or by filling out our online contact form.