Mac Miller, a 26-year-old American rapper and music producer who died Sept. 7 in California, had a will, and its contents are similar to those of musical phenom Michael Jackson.

The fact that Mr. Miller even had a will may surprise some financial advisers, given Mr. Miller’s youth. Other famous, much older musicians — Aretha Franklin and Prince, to name recent examples — died without wills, tying up their substantial fortunes in a complex legal process.

Mr. Miller, whose legal name was Malcolm McCormick, reportedly had a net worth of about $9 million at the time of his death, the cause of which officials have yet to verify.

The Pittsburgh native released his first album, “Blue Slide Park,” in 2011; it was the first independent album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart since 1995. Since then, he’s released several other albums, including “Watching Movies with the Sound Off” (2013), “GO:OD AM” (2015) and “The Divine Feminine” (2016). His 2018 album, “Swimming,” was released last month.

“What impresses me about this guy is, he’s single, young, has no kids, and yet took the time to do this,” said Charlie Douglas, an estate planner. “Really rare for anybody, no less someone who’s an artist in the music industry.”

Mr. Miller left his entire estate to a trust, the Malcolm McCormick Revocable Trust, according to his will. He named himself as trustee of the trust.

Michael Jackson took the same measure in his will, giving his estate to the Michael Jackson Family Trust, of which he was trustee. Mr. Jackson died in 2009.

The use of revocable trusts in estate planning is a common strategy for celebrities and residents of California, and has become more popular with the general public, estate planners said. Mr. Miller lived in the San Fernando Valley, and Mr. Jackson also resided in California.

A revocable trust is essentially a “will in a different form,” said Bruce Steiner, estate planning attorney with Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen.

Unlike wills, revocable trusts take proceedings out of probate court, which is a notoriously challenging arena for Californians. Estate executors in California must deal with the court during the administration process more than in “most every other state,” Mr. Steiner said.

Everyone should prepare a will to avoid unnecessary stress for loved ones. Visit our helpful Wills and Probate page here.

Source: Investment News