When Rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed in front of his store in Los Angeles, he left behind two minor children and a girlfriend. If he did not have an estate plan, he joins artists like Aretha Franklin and Prince who also died with no estate plans. He also created a problem for his children, because minors are not permitted to own more than a certain amount of assets, according to Rolling Out’s article, “RIP Nipsey Hussle: 5 reasons you need an estate plan.”
This means that a guardian or trustee must be appointed to manage the funds for them, until they reach the age of majority. If the deceased doesn’t have a will that instructs who that guardian shall be, they will be chosen by the court. In this case, Nipsey’s longtime girlfriend Lauren London would get nothing from Hussle’s estate (even though that may not have been his intention), because it looks like she wasn’t his spouse or an heir. Consider these important reasons for an estate plan:
Property transfer wishes. This is the primary objective of estate planning. Your estate consists of all your property (real, personal, and intellectual) minus your debts. Your estate plan will determine who gets what and when. Create clear goals, as to who should inherit your property and alternative beneficiaries, in case someone predeceases you.
Transfer costs and taxes. Another goal of estate planning is maximizing any available tax benefits. You can limit estate taxes by creating trusts, making charitable donations and by establishing a family limited partnership for a business.
More net assets to heirs. An estate plan will help avoid the expense and delays of probate.
Liquidity at death. Funds need to be available to satisfy the immediate needs of the family. This can be accomplished with life insurance policies, IRAs, stocks and bonds. If all of your property is being transferred by will or intestate succession, no one gets anything, until the estate is probated.
Personal wishes surrounding death. Write down all of your preferences concerning burial, cremation, and organ donation to help your family.
Since this article was first published, Rolling Out added an update that said that Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London may have been secretly married. If that’s the case, she would inherit part of the estate. Otherwise, his family will be busy trying to untangle his estate, seeking guardianship of his children and many other tasks, all during a difficult time.
Reference: Rolling Out (April 1, 2019) “RIP Nipsey Hussle: 5 reasons you need an estate plan”
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