Superstar Estates: Fleeting Fame, Enduring Security
By: Robert L. Moshman, Esq.
Actors, musicians, athletes, and Kardashians can become famous overnight, but notoriety doesn’t automatically mean financial security; sadly, it usually ends up meaning the opposite. Lottery winners and other windfall recipients often
follow a similar path, even if their “stardom” is limited to local friends, neighbors, and family.
Celebrity wealth can evaporate along with fleeting fame. Celebrities also attract lawsuits, moochers, and scam artists. Professional athletes have all of these issues but in a condensed career that can be over with a single injury. Let’s examine the special financial planning challenges of these estates.
Blazing a path across the sky, a star can be born suddenly and in brilliant fashion. This has been especially true in the age of the Internet and social media.
Until recently, for example, few people outside of South Korea had heard of a chubby singer in sunglasses known as “Psy.” Then his new song went viral. He sold only 100,000 physical copies of his new song—not enough to become wealthy.
However, with the new economics of music, “Gangnam Style” was viewed more than 900 million times on YouTube, netting Psy $1 million. The video was also downloaded more than 3 million times on iTunes, netting him $2.6 million. Fame led to product endorsements for $5 million. Stock in YG Entertainment, Inc., which manages Psy’s career, rose dramatically, hereby increasing Psy’s family’s wealth by $30 million (on paper) and increasing the company’s worth by $200 million.
All of this happened in the course of 6 months...
Related Attorneys: James J. Eccleston