Boy, talk about life imitating art.
If blues legend B.B. King — who passed away last year — could somehow come back to life to write just one more song, that product might easily transcend all his other creations for truly embodying what the blues is all about.
And, in casting for subject matter, the musical titan wouldn’t need to look any further than his own family and the ripples of confusion and discontent that have surfaced since his death surrounding the administration of his estate.
King’s biography is truly legendary stuff and will doubtless feature in books and films for years to come. The singer/songwriter and unparalleled guitarist was married twice, but had no children with either of his wives.
Alternatively, though, he reportedly fathered 15 children with other women.
In fact, 15 different women, which has resulted in a widespread collection of individuals who are now adults, with several of them noted by a recent CBS News report as being “locked in a legal battle with his estate’s trustee over who gets a piece of his fortune.”
That fortune is reputedly valued as high as $40 million.
The details of King’s estate plan are still emerging, with what has been publicly divulged thus far spelling more than a modicum of acrimony. News accounts detail King’s open acknowledgment of all his children and his generosity toward them when he was alive. The entertainer reportedly established trust funds for his kids and paid for their university educations.
Things now seem to be muddled and in flux, though, with the children being pitted against King’s business manager, who is the estate trustee.
“She stole everything,” says one of King’s sons.
The story certainly spells a cautionary tone underscoring that sound and effective estate plans are the product of timely and well-considered strategies that are implemented when a principal is alive and has the capacity to promote desired outcomes.