Celebrity Estate Lessons - Whitney Houston
June 28th, 2022
When Whitney Houston passed on 2012, one of the biggest concerns was what would happen with her daughter, Bobbi Kristina. So today we will start with part one of the story, Whitney's estate and will focus on Bobbi's estate in a later post.
Whitney had her estate plan written in 1993 when Bobbi Kristina was born and she was still married to her husband, Bobby Brown. However, it was only slightly updated when the divorce was finalized and wasn't updated again as her daughter aged and began struggling with drugs.
She had a Trust created that would allow her Bobbi to inherit differing amounts of money at different ages. At 21, Bobbi received 10% of the estate or approximately $2 million. At 25 she would have inherited an additional 16% or $3 million. She would have gotten the rest at the age of 30. It also provided for the Trustee to access additional money for other costs, like the purchase of a home or starting a business.
However, at Whitney's passing, there was concern that Whitney's ex Bobby would try to gain a conservatorship over their child in order to access her money. Luckily, this didn't happen.
Bobbi Kristina was 19 when her mother passed and her family appealed to the court to delay her inheritance payments, noting that she had drug problems and had understandable issues dealing with her mother's death. However, this case was dropped as it was likely the court would follow the wishes as stated in Whitney's Will.
It was in 2015 at the age of 22 that Bobbi Kristina was found unconscious in her bathtub, which caused a new ripple in Whitney's estate battle. But we will get to that later.
So what do we learn from this? Well, not to beat a dead horse, but when you have a major life changing event, it's also time to revisit your estate plan. Even if you don't have a major life changing event, it's good to revisit it every few years just to make sure everything is up to date. Contact Harrison Estate Law to learn more.