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Estate Planning Yields $20 million for Late Lou Reed’s Heirs

If you are a Massachusetts music fan, we can almost guarantee that you have heard some of Lou Reed’s music. This prolific performer and member of the Velvet Underground was a top-tier songwriter who urged us to “take a walk on the wild side.” Now, it appears that Reed’s estate is getting a bit wild, itself, considering the amount of money it has amassed just since the man’s death in October. Reed’s estate planning documents have allowed his heirs to see a $20 million increase in the value of the estate since he died.

Most of that money is thought to be related to publishing and copyright holdings. Interest in Reed’s music apparently skyrocketed after his death. That money earned by the estate does not include the $10 million left to his surviving wife, who received a penthouse in New York, a $1.5 million home in the Hamptons and most of the man’s personal property. Reed’s sister also received a half-million dollars to care for their aging mother — she will receive an additional $5 million from the estate profits.

Reed’s estate planning documents appear to have provided adequately for his beneficiaries, even after his death. Interestingly, Reed did not choose a family member to serve as the executor of his will; instead, he designated his friend and manager to oversee the dispensation of his earthly goods. A full inventory of the man’s assets will be submitted to court by January.

Reed ostensibly chose to use a will structure instead of relying solely on trusts to distribute his wealth. Although this can have some advantages, it is important to remember that every will must be considered by state probate court, which can be an arduous process. An estate planning attorney may be able to help clients avoid this difficult procedure by structuring estate documents to prevent such legal issues.

Source: Ultimate Classic Rock, “Lou Reed’s Estate Earns $20 Million Since Death” Ken Kelley, Jun. 30, 2014

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