Who Is Your Beneficiary? Marilyn Monroe Ultimately Had No Idea

When creating a last will and testament, it’s important to know your beneficiary. Sadly, that’s not always the case. Marilyn Monroe, one of the world’s most famous icons, didn’t seem to have any idea to whom she left her money.

Acting Coach & Psychiatrist Got Everything

Marilyn Monroe died at the age of 36 from a drug overdose. The year was 1962 and there have always been questions as to whom she named as beneficiaries. In fact, her business manager, Inez Melson, was allegedly suspicious about Marilyn Monroe’s will when it was first drafted.

Monroe’s will left some money to care for her mentally ill mother and bequeathed some of her personal belongings to Inez Melson. The remainder went to her acting coach and psychiatrist:

A bit strange, but there it is, and Monroe could never predicted what happened next…

Strasberg’s 2nd Wife Takes Control of Monroe’s Fortune

Lee Strasberg controlled Monroe’s estate for a short while. Then, his second wife, Anna, took over. Although she only met Monroe one time, she created utter chaos for years. Here’s a brief rundown of what happened:

Strasberg eventually sold her interest in Monroe’s estate for a reported $20 – $30 million.  Interestingly, Monroe has consistently been one of the top highest earning deceased celebrities since her death. Her estate earned $17 million in 2015 alone.

Consider Everything – Carefully

When creating an estate plan, it’s important to consider everything very carefully. While you may want a specific person to benefit from your estate (as Monroe wanted for Lee Strasberg), the probability that someone else will get control of your assets is likely unless you provide otherwise.

Monroe obviously had very good intentions for providing for help to those who are mentally ill.  Had she considered those intentions more carefully, many more people could have been helped.  Instead, someone she met once bilked her estate for their own purposes.

We can all learn from Monroe’s mistakes. We can help you come up with a good estate planning tool which provides for your family, friends, and charitable organizations. Call us today.