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Living Trusts Done Right: David Bowie

November 21, 2018

Often when a celebrity passes away one of the first stories to pop up is how they died without an estate plan. When legendary artist Prince passed a few months ago, we heard how he did not have a will and learned that his entire estate would be tangled up in probate court for years to come.

What we rarely hear about is the celebrity who made the correct financial moves and passed away with a plan to protect their assets. If we are searching for that example, we need to look no further than at David Bowie. The artist struggled financially during his younger years and even dealt with bankruptcy. However, later in life, Bowie with the help of investment banker David Pullman, sold a stake in his music catalog and collected over $55 million.

Bowie’s financial advisors recently told the press how his client was motivated by the thought of setting up his family for the future. Bowie took the money he earned from selling a stake in his catalog and create an estate plan to benefit his wife, daughter, and son from his first marriage. Pullman also mentions that Bowie was interested in estate planning and taking an active role in his finances from an early age.

According to various reports, Bowie’s wife will receive the majority of the financial empire, which is estimated to be in the $200 million range, before factoring in the spike in sales likely to occur because of Bowie’s passing. The actual details of Bowie’s estate plan have not been made public. However, given his financial acumen and propensity for advanced planning, Bowie likely created one or more living trusts to protect his assets.

Many celebrities (and people in general) fail to adequately plan for their estate, and many times their assets will get tied up in a lengthy probate process. Artist like John Lennon, Tupac Shakur, and Kurt Cobain all passed away without an estate plan and left their heirs with messy court battles.


David Bowie’s estate plan should serve as a lesson for everyone (celebrity or non-celebrity alike). If you have any assets, children or property, now is the time to begin thinking about your family’s future. Estate plans are not only for the wealthy, and anyone can benefit from the documents. Give us a call at (800) 403-6078 to schedule a FREE consultation with an expert estate planning attorney today. Your financial future depends on it.