If you want to see some tension pop off between some people just be around when someone’s rich relative dies and leaves a will. When that will is revealed there is always enough tension in the room its’s read in to cut with a butter knife. The reason for the tension is a will is one of those things that never ever pleases everybody. You will see me write that again.
Such is the case with the late David Bowie’s will.
That will got a lot of folks up on their “hind legs”.
Surprising to me is the people that are upset with the will are not the usual suspects (the family) – it’s the general public. And they took to those personal soapboxes known as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, blogs, and whatever other personal accounts that hosted them to let their displeasure and pleasure (to be fair) be known.
Well, let’s examine the will to see what triggered the copious comments about it.
The 20-page will, prepared in 2004, has been filed in Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan on Friday. It said Mr. Bowie’s estate was worth as much as $100 million, but it contained no breakdown of his holdings.
Here are the highlights of the will.
Widow Iman Abdulmajid will receive half of Bowie’s estate as well as his penthouse in Manhattan
Of the rest of his estate, 25 percent goes to Duncan Jones, his son from his marriage to the former Mary Angela Barnett; and 25 percent to his daughter from his marriage to Ms. Abdulmajid Jones, Alexandria Zahra Jones, through a trust because she is under 18. He left his mountain retreat in Ulster County, N.Y., to his daughter through the trust.
Mr. Bowie left $2 million to Corinne Schwab, who is known as Coco and was his longtime personal assistant. In a codicil from 2007, he left Ms. Schwab his stock in a company called Opossum Inc. He left $1 million to Marion Skene, who was Mr. Jones’s nanny.
The will named two executors, Mr. Bowie’s business manager, William Zysblat, and a lawyer in London, Paddy Grafton Green. But documents filed with the will indicated that Mr. Green had stepped aside, leaving Mr. Zysblat as the sole executor.
Okay. Now some of Mr, Bowie’s beneficiaries might not feel his estate was distributed fairly or equally. But as I said earlier there is always someone involved in willed distribution of property that’s not going to be happy. In the case of David Bowie’s will even folks that are not involved in the distribution of his estate is unhappy.
The wifey / ex-wifey thingy seemed to be a sore spot with most folks.
Some questioned why would Iman receive an entire half of the money for herself. Then others asked what did the late Bowie leave for first wife, Angie, whom rockstar had been married to in his early 20’s-30’s between the years of 1970-1980.
I’m among those that defend Iman’s half. Come on, the woman is his wife and Mother of one of his children. Yeah, I get one crux of the opposer’s arguments that Iman has her own money – to that I say “so what? Bowie would have been well within legal and moral rights to leave he a larger percentage if so chose to do so. Or to all of it to her with the trust SHE would have divided out among the children. Now that would have been something to talk about. But he didn’t.
As far as his first wife of 9 years Angie goes – yes she was there when he got his come up and bore him a child but she is his FORMER wife. Had he not remarried I’d take the middle ground on this one and could see Angie receiving a noteworthy disbursement.
What folks should be doing is learning a lesson out of the wife / x-wife debates they’re triggering. That lesson is as casual as folks embrace divorce these days, if you’re marrying wealth you may want to consider a prenup.That way you don’t mess around and get divorced out of what you feel your value was worth to the relationship and the wealthy one doesn’t get fleeced by sympathetic and tunnel vision judges.
Wills of the rich and famous will always draw the ire of society. That society will quarterback the departed decisions 9 ways to Sunday and then rewind and do it again. Why? Because they put themselves in the shoes of the recipients. And we all know what? Almost no will recipient is satisfied with their piece of the pie.