Celebrity Estate Lessons: Lou Reed
April 18th, 2022
Some people make a lot of money during their career. Then there are people who make even more once they've passed. Such was the case for the Lou Reed Estate, the value of which nearly tripled in the year after he died. Lou Reed did do some estate planning, leaving behind a 34 page Will that stipulated about 3/4 of his estate was to go to his wife and the rest to his sister. A modest $500,000 was left to care for his 93 year-old mother.
However, the question arises of whether it would have been better for Reed to have drafted a Trust for the bulk of his estate with a Pour-over Will to cover the rest. In cases of a large estate, often the answer is yes. Protections can be built into an account to limit taxes at the time of death and to protect the privacy of your beneficiaries. It also is a good way to limit the ability to contest your final wishes.
Even without the trust, Reed seems to have done a decent job with his plan, naming Robert Gotterer one of his executors and telling him to treat his copyright and publishing interests 'as his own.' His other executor was his accountant.
So should you have a trust as part of your estate plan? Or is just a Will going to be okay? What about the other documents that fill out a well-rounded estate plan? At Harrison Estate Law, we can help you figure out what exactly you need.