District of Columbia music fans may already know that guitar player and singer Lou Reed died in October of last year after a battle with liver disease. Approximately a year-and-a-half prior to his death, Reed made out a will that consisted of 34 pages. In it, he made sure to take care of the women in his life.
Since the 71-year-old member of The Velvet Underground passed away, his estate has amassed no less than $20,379,169 million, and that amount grows by the day. This income is from copyrighted material, performance royalties and publishing rights, among other things. Court filings indicate that assets worth another $10 million were part of the estate. No information regarding the total value of the estate was provided.
These assets were to be distributed to Reed's wife and sister. Further, he provided $500,000 to his sister to take care of their mother, who is 93 years old. Everything else that comprises his estate is to be distributed 75 percent to his wife and 25 percent to his sister. He also wisely chose the executors of his estate because they are only requesting a modest fee, even though they might be able to get more based on the value of the estate. This means that more of the estate's assets are available to his wife and sister.
Could Reed have structured his estate differently in order to keep the details of his estate out of public eye? Of course, he could have created a trust or trusts instead of just a will. However, he did what he thought was best, and he was able to leave this world knowing that his wife, sister and mother were provided for by his estate. Ultimately, it is the decision of each District of Columbia resident how he or she wants to structure his or her estate.
Source: Forbes, "Lou Reed Walked On The Wild Side With His Estate Planning", Danielle and Andy Mayoras, July 10, 2014