Kobe Bryant, Nipsey Hussle and estate planning lessons

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2020 | Will Disputes |

The importance of having an estate plan in place for people in Pennsylvania has been highlighted by the deaths of NBA star Kobe Bryant and rapper Nipsey Hussle. In Bryant’s case, there has been little news about the estate plan. Even if he did not have one, under California law, his wife would inherit half of his estate, and the rest would be distributed among his children.

The situation for Hussle is more complicated. He had custody of his 10-year-old child from a previous marriage and also had a 2-year-old with his fiancée, actress Lauren London. Hussle’s estate is valued at $2 million, and he had no estate plan in place. His children will inherit the estate since he was not married, but since they are minors, they cannot legally possess $1 million each. This means that whoever gets custody of the children will also have control over this inheritance.

Although London is their son’s legal guardian, she still has to petition the court to become guardian of the inheritance. Hussle’s family members, including his brother, have been fighting his ex-wife for custody of the 10-year-old, and whoever gets custody may also be in control of those assets. In Bryant’s case, guardianship issues may arise depending on how the estate is structured and whether it is largely passed by living trust.

If a person dies without an estate plan in place, assets pass according to state law, and this could mean individuals getting assets they were never intended to have. However, even if there is an estate plan, if it is unclear or out of date, there could be issues. For example, some people fail to update their estate planning after a major event, such as getting a divorce or having children. This might lead to litigation among family members after the person’s death.