Estate Planning Lessons from Michael Jackson

Let’s face it, Michael Jackson had a spotty record when it came to managing his money. Sure, he earned a gazillion dollars making music and was savvy enough to buy rights to Beatles’ tunes, but in his latter days he also spent lavishly, millions more than his annual income, and he racked up a sizeable debt. In other words, you wouldn’t want him as your financial advisor.

But Kiplinger points out that for all his quirks (including those not money related), Jackson made one very smart move: he had a proper estate plan in place, one that will not only transition his assets efficiently but also keep most of his financial dealings out of the press.

What can we learn from Jackson in this regard? Here are four lessons Kiplinger highlights:

1. Write a will.
2. Consider a living trust.
3. Name a guardian.
4. Assemble a good team.

If nothing else, Jackson’s last money move serves to remind us all that we need to get at least the basics of estate planning in place by having a will. And as we’ve also seen from his life, this planning becomes all the more important when children are involved.

4 Estate-Planning Lessons From Michael Jackson [Kiplinger]

(Photo: frankieleon)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.