David Bowie’s Creative Estate Planning

Florida music fans have likely heard about David Bowie’s death from liver cancer on Jan. 10. He passed away shortly after he turned 69 and released a new album. Although the details of Bowie’s estate plan have not been made public, it is known that Bowie had been interested in estate planning for some time.

Until the 1990s, Bowie struggled with his finances and nearly went bankrupt. A few years after he married Iman, Bowie pulled out of his financial trouble with the help of an investment banker. Rather than cashing in on his recordings directly by selling the rights to his song catalogue, Bowie sold a type of financial instrument he called ‘Bowie Bonds.” For $55 million, Bowie Bonds paid investors a 7.9 percent fixed-rate return over a 10-year period.

Bowie Bonds were purchased by Prudential Insurance Co. of America, and the bonds were paid in full using funds from music royalties and copyrights. At the time, the bonds were a financially creative move that helped Bowie to achieve financial security. Now, Bowie’s estate is valued at around $200 million. His wife Iman is expected to inherit the majority of his wealth.

With careful estate planning, people may be able to provide for their family members in the way that they see fit. A lawyer can assist in will planning and the creation of trusts. During the estate planning process, a lawyer may also help a person to set up powers of attorney and other documents that will help them during their lifetime.