In Estate Planning, Take a Lesson From MJ

He knew what he was doing—and we should follow his example
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2009 2:08 PM CDT
In Estate Planning, Take a Lesson From MJ
Lawyer John Branca, right, co-executor of Michael Jackson's estate, and lawyer Howard Weitzman speak to each other during a news conference outside the Superior court in Los Angeles, July 6, 2009.    (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

(Newser) – Michael Jackson wasn't known for his financial prudence, but he got one thing right: his estate planning, writes Jane Bennett Clark for Kiplinger. Here’s how to follow his good example:

  • Write a will: Two-thirds of Americans don’t. Jackson’s is concrete: His kids get 40% of his estate, his mother gets 40%, and 20% goes to charity.

story continues below

  • Set up a living trust: In most cases it protects the assets it covers from going through probate after you die. You keep control as a trustee.
  • Pick a guardian for your kids: Jackson tapped his mother, with Diana Ross as a backup. Courts usually follow these instructions.
  • Choose a good legal team to run the show: Jackson picked a “top-notch lawyer” and a “savvy business executive” as his will’s co-executors and co-trustees of his family trust.
(Read more Michael Jackson stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.