Jimi Hendrix was a genius of music. He could do anything with a guitar, including setting one on fire during a concert. Unfortunately, something he neglected to do was to set up a trust for what turned out to be a multimillion-dollar estate; a mistake that cost his family 45 years of litigation, countless dollars and a lot of pain.
Jimi died tragically at the age of 28. Like many young stars, he battled demons of substance abuse and died from an overdose, in London in 1970.
At the time of his death, his estate was estimated to be just over $20,000 U.S. dollars. In 1970 his success had only begun to blossom. He had a handful of hit records and he probably could not have dreamed how much fame and success they would render.
Which is why ( you will hear us say this over and over): 1) Estate Planning is not just for wealthy old people and 2) Considering the what ifs MUST be a part of your plan. Had Jimi consulted a good estate planning attorney, his estate, his royalties and all of his unknowns would have been protected.
Instead, his estate was inherited by his father and next of kin, Al Hendrix. Is this what Jimi would have wanted? As Jimi’s fortune grew, so did the court battles. Over the next 50 years, people came out of the woodwork, to get a piece of his estate and from the beneficiaries of his estate.
To date, the Hendrix court battles seem to be settled, but the battling between multiple generations has undoubtedly caused irreparable damage. The truth is, you don’t have to be a musical genius for your lack of planning to wreck your family harmony. It can happen to anyone.
“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens”
— JIMI HENDRIX
Don’t leave your future up to the courts. It’s never too soon to plan. If you haven’t created or updated your estate plan or love someone who hasn’t, we can help!
RIP Jimi. You changed the face of rock and roll
and hopefully inspired future generations to plan for the impossible!