David Bowie's Holllywood Walk of Fame StarDavid Bowie isn't just a music legend. He's a beacon of estate planning too. While most of the time when we hear about a celebrity estate in the news it's because they failed to have an estate plan or had multiple wills that conflict with each other, David Bowie's estate had none of that drama.

Instead of leaving behind drama and infighting, he left behind a creative and effective estate plan that provided for his family. With his legacy intact, he serves as a prime example of the way that we should all approach our estate plans.

Even if you don't have millions of dollars and a remarkable catalog of world-changing music, the lessons we can learn are the same that we can apply to our estate plans. Whether it's the importance of understanding the law, being intentional and creative in crafting a legacy, or working with professionals, Bowie's lessons are ones that you should take to heart as well.

David Bowie's Estate Plan

David Bowie was known for his remarkable foresight. Be it his ability to anticipate music trends or the courage to make eccentric fashion choices, Bowie was always ahead of the curve. This vision was reflected in his estate planning as well.

His estate plan was as meticulous, unique, and strategic as his songs. It reflected Bowie's inimitable personality, his musical legacy, and his deeply held values. In his absence, his estate plan ensures that his inspirational life continues to have an impact, very similar to his timeless music.

Central to Bowie's estate plan was the novel idea of selling his song rights, a la Bowie Bonds. This unprecedented move guaranteed not just a substantial payout for Bowie but also ensured that his songs, and therefore his legacy, would keep reaching new generations.

And, we are yet to get to the best part! Bowie's plan had a diverse scope, as rich and expansive as his discography. It covered aspects ranging from real estate to privacy provisions, each element carefully tailored to suit Bowie's needs and ambitions.

Yes, there's much more to Bowie's plan than meets the eye, and the lessons we can learn from it are numerous. So, next time when you groove to 'Let's Dance' or are moved by 'Heroes', remember that Bowie had more to offer than just his music.

Estate planning done right is like composing a symphony—it harmonizes various elements to create a masterpiece. And, just like Bowie's music, a well-orchestrated estate plan stands the test of time.

3 Lessons from David Bowie's Estate Plan

If you're looking for a quick checklist of things we can take from the estate plan, here's the key takeaways:

  1. Understand the Law - the first step of estate planning involves understanding laws related to estate taxes and inheritance to avoid potential pitfalls.
  2. Be Intentional & Creative - Step 2 involves intentional planning and creativity in asset distribution, like Bowie's innovative Bowie Bonds.
  3. Engage Professionals - Step 3 is to engage professionals. They can provide expert advice and ensure your estate plan is legally sound.

Do You Need an Estate Plan?

If you need an estate plan or maybe just need to update one you had prepared before, let's schedule a Legal Strategy Session online or by calling my Edina, Minnesota office at (612) 294-6982 or my New York City office at (646) 847-3560. My office will be happy to find a convenient time for us to have a phone call to review the best options and next steps for you to work with an estate planning attorney to get your plan prepared and implemented.

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.
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