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Even Rappers’ Estates Need to Pay Their Debts

I have previously blogged about rapper Nate Dogg and the financial issues surrounding his estate.  He died in 2011 without a will but with 6 children of unascertainable ages and different mothers and unpaid child support and medical bills of $290K.  His primary asset was a house with $200K of equity.  The administrator of his estate has a contract to sell the house for $340,000 but his children are opposing the sale because it will not leave them enough money.

Several points:

1.  A decedent’s debts must be paid before estate beneficiaries receive any proceeds of the estate. It is unfortunate for his children that there will likely be no assets left for them after the payment of debts, but an administrator cannot magically make a house worth more than the market is willing to pay nor make the debts less.

2.  If Mr. Dogg had wanted to provide for his children and not worry about his debts, he could have purchased a life insurance policy to benefit them.

3.  His house was worth $340K?  I doubt it was featured on MTV’s “Cribs.”

Nate Dogg

 

Even Rappers Need Wills (and Life Insurance, Trusts, and Condoms) Pt. 3

I previously blogged about rapper Nate Dogg who died in 2011 survived by 6 children of unascertainable ages and different mothers.  His estate is back in the news again because the mother of one of his children filed a claim against his estate for unpaid child support from the date of the child’s 2006 birth, plus support since Dogg’s death in 2011.   Two other women, one of whom also has  a child Dogg fathered in 2006, are arguing in court over the amount of support they are supposed to receive from his estate.

Several points:

1.  In Ohio, claims against an estate must be filed within six months of the date of death.  The claim for Dogg’s unpaid back support would be invalid due to untimely filing.

2.  In Ohio, child support obligations terminate at death.  Adding money for post-death support to an already late claim just makes the claim doubly improper.

3.  Dogg’s children are entitled to social security payments until they turn 18.

4.  For divorced couples, a life insurance policy is recommended to cover any future child support payments.

5.  Dogg could have established a trust to provide for his children upon his death.   However, that would have required foresight and planning.  For a guy who did not make child support payments nor who wore a condom, such planning would be inconceivable.

Even Rappers Need Wills

Rapper Nate Dogg’s $200,000 estate moved one step closer to being settled after his wife (step-mother to his children) and his mother ceded control of the estate to a neutral 3rd party at the request of his children.  Mr. Dogg died in March 2011 without a will at the age of 41, leaving a wife and 6 children whose ages are unascertainable in a cursory web search.  His wife and mother had sought to be appointed co-executors, but his children believed they were only motivated by financial gain and did not have the best interest of the children at heart.

Lessons to be learned:

1.  Everyone, even rappers, need a will.  The issue of executors would not have arisen because the will would have appointed someone to serve in that role.

2.  A funded trust would have been better because this entire dispute, or at least the financial end of it, might have remained shielded from the public.

3.  $200K estate for a rapper?  The music business is tough for everyone this century.  However, 6 children, a socially appropriate level of bling, and no solo releases for 9 years could drain assets quickly.

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All Posts By Jay Brinker

I am an attorney located in Cincinnati, Ohio who practices in the areas of estate planning, probate, asset protection, and small business advice. I make a difficult and bewildering process as simple as possible. Most importantly, I provide "more for less" for my clients.