Rapper’s Forethought is a Surprise to Many
Most 26-year olds don’t have an estate plan in place, and we all know all too well how many celebrities don’t have an estate plan. Mac Miller was different.
Mac Miller, an American rapper and music producer, died very young—he was only 26. Yet he had a will, and it showed that he had given considerable thought to avoiding the legal and financial snafus of much older artists, according to a recent article from Investment News, “Deceased rapper Mac Miller was 26 and had a will — similar to that of Michael Jackson.”
Miller, whose real name was Malcolm McCormick, is said to have had a net worth of $9 million at the time of his death. The cause of his death is still not known, officials say.
What is interesting about Miller is that he was single, young and had no kids. Nevertheless, he still took the time and effort to do this. It’s rarity for anybody, let alone someone who's an artist in the music industry, to have a will like this.
According to his will, the rapper left his entire estate to a trust, and he named himself as trustee of the trust.
Michael Jackson did the same thing in his will, giving his estate to the Michael Jackson Family Trust, of which he was trustee. The use of revocable trusts is a common strategy in estate planning.
A revocable trust takes the proceedings out of probate court, plus they’re private. In contrast, a will is a matter of public record.
It’s critical to be sure that an estate stays out of probate, by funding a trust during one's lifetime.
In Miller's case, that would have meant retitling assets like a house and investment accounts, so they weren't owned in his name as Malcolm McCormick the individual. Instead, they were named as trustee of the Malcolm McCormick Revocable Trust.
A trust is like buying a new car—it won't run right if you don't put gas in it. “Gassing up” the revocable trust means the creator must retitle his assets during his lifetime to avoid probate.
Miller's will was a "pour-over" will. This is a catch-all, in the event Miller failed to retitle an asset, which would then "pour over" into his trust and remain out of probate. That's the only purpose his will serves.
You don’t need to be worth $9 million or be a rap star to have a will and an estate plan. In fact, your family will be more likely to need you to have these in place, if you are not worth $9 million. Speak with an experienced estate planning attorney, who can help create a plan that protects you and your family.
Reference: Investment News (September 21, 2018) “Deceased rapper Mac Miller was 26 and had a will — similar to that of Michael Jackson”