The passing of high-profile celebrities thrust the issue of proper distribution of their estate.  Most notably being Michael Jackson, who ranked as the top earning deceased celebrity in 2010-2011.  Jackson's estate accrued $170 million, a significant drop form the previous year with $275 million, from sales in music and his stake in Sony/ATV catalog.

“It's clear that while the stories may all be tragically unique, the contributing factors remain relatively consistent.  Collectively, these cases obviate the need for a unified approach to wealth management that balances short- and long-term lifestyle concerns against the desire to effectively transfer wealth and preserve legacies. . . .Without an estate plan, a celebrity is unable to ensure that the proper individuals are left in control of their estate and legacy.”

Interestingly enough, the public becomes even more captivated with celebrities upon their death, especially if there is any controversy with their estate. It is not uncommon for celebrities to continue to generate substantial revenue long after their death, with royalties from their body of work, but where does it all go?