Why Artists Like Prince Need A “Legacy Plan,” Not An “Estate Plan”


The recent death of Prince Rogers Nelson, known to the world simply as “Prince,” has ignited a conversation around estate planning and the need for everyone to have estate planning documents prepared and in order. Prince died apparently never having made a will and, as a result, his estate is now subject to Minnesota's laws of intestacy and some fairly public court proceedings. Numerous ar­ticles have been written claiming that everyone can learn from Prince's estate planning mistakes, and warning readers that they do not want to end up like Prince and die without having made a will. While it is important for everyone to have a will, the conversation around Prince's estate planning highlights a common mistake made by too many estate planning lawyers and other professionals, namely, that artists like Prince (as well as other enter­tainers, athletes and celebrities—all of whom we will refer to in this article as “celebrities”) are just like everyone else and have the same basic estate planning needs. The truth is, however, that celebrities are not like everyone else, and a traditional estate plan is just not sufficient to handle their needs. Celebrities like Prince need a legacy plan. Read the rest of the article on the Scott Law Blog by clicking here.

This article was written by Daniel J. Scott for the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Fall 2016, Vol. 27, No. 3, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207.