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Monday, February 6, 2017

George Michael's estate is an example of tailoring a will to personal wishes

British newspapers and magazines have been reporting for a month or so now that the estate of pop star George Michael, who died on Christmas Day, 2016, is in the range of 100 million UK pounds (about $160,000,000 Canadian). They are also predicting that it will be distributed among his many God-children. Click here to read a story from with more detail and of course tons of photos.

Michael did not have children of his own, and he was not married. He had a boyfriend but I am not familiar enough with UK law to know whether the boyfriend has the status of a spouse.

If the will does, in fact, distribute the estate among his God-children, who include the daughter of a former spice girl and the children of his former band-mates, then it seems to me that this is an example of excellent planning on Michael's part. He will have shared his significant wealth among the people that he loved. He would have had peace of mind during his lifetime that he was going to be able to leave those people a way to remember him. He tailored his will to do what he wanted it to do.

Best of all, he will have spared everyone the horrendous fight that inevitably erupts when anyone with money passes away without heirs and without a will. In the absence of a will, family members would have to be tracked down and involved in the estate, even if they were family members with whom Michael was not close.

The attached photo of George Michael accompanied the Daily Mail article and is credited to Reuters.

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