When people with the notoriety and fortunes of celebrities and beloved icons die, it is expected that they have their ducks in a row and have a will to distribute their property and assets. However, this is not the case for many celebrities.
Whether they were young like Heath Ledger (and maybe felt as though he would handle it later in life) or older like Aretha Franklin (who recently died without a will), it has proven to be quite the affair for those left to sort out the details after the celebrity’s passing. When the dust settles, interesting and outright bizarre things may happen regarding the famous person’s legacy.
10. Kurt Cobain And The Muppets
When you are young, it is not usually at the forefront of the brain to create a will to protect your family, your assets, and your name after you die. Kurt Cobain was one of many young celebrities who died without a will and issues arose.
Courtney Love (Cobain’s widow) claimed “rape”—yes, that was the term she used—of Cobain’s legacy when the Muppets used the Nirvana song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in their 2012 film, which catered to an audience of mostly children.
Love claimed that she did not give permission for the use of the song. However, it was not needed as Primary Wave Music, which had bought half of Love’s shares when she sold them years earlier, did grant permission, as did the remaining members of Nirvana. One member even appeared in the movie.
9. Bob Marley And The RICO Conspiracy
As Bob Marley was a Rastafarian, creating a will would have affirmed a belief in death which was contrary to the faith. When Marley died at age 36, his estate was distributed to his wife, mother, and 11 children according to Jamaican law.
Since his wife, Rita, was granted such a small portion, her attorneysrecommended that she forge and predate documents transferring mass amounts of his estate to her that appeared to happen prior to his death.
She was exposed by one of Marley’s former managers. The attorney and accountant involved—along with Rita—were found guilty in court, and Rita was removed as an estate administrator.