If it wasn’t a long time ago, and we weren’t in a galaxy far, far away, then what would have happened to Darth Vader’s legacy? If your family was anything like mine while growing up, hearing the line, “Luke, I am your father” as Vader falls from the screen will forever be imprinted in your memory. While it is hard to believe in a world in which light sabers are more than just a toy or that we are all ruled by an evil Galactic Empire; we can, however, still imagine what might have happened to Darth Vader’s estate after his untimely death.
Born Anakin Skywalker, not much is known about Darth Vader’s family. What little we know about Darth’s mom reveals that she did not come from wealth and even less is known about his father. As rumor has it, an immaculate conception was involved, but most likely he did not inherit any sum of money from his own family. However, he would have inherited from his wife, Padmae. Although, there is speculation that his rage may have been the reason for her death. It also simply could be viewed that she died from complications during childbirth of Luke and Leia.
Padmae, who was a wealthy heiress would have had a large estate to plan for, but similar to the mindset of most of the younger generations these days, she likely had not taken the time to have a Will done. In Maryland, her substantial wealth would have passed through intestacy meaning the State would determine who gets to inherit her wealth. In this case, Vader would have received his spousal share which is half of the estate because there are surviving minors. The other half would have been held by a custodian (most likely Obi-Wan Kenobi) for the benefit of Luke and Leia until they reached 18.
In addition to receiving his wife’s hefty inheritance, there is no denying that Vader was also a successful, albeit, evil businessman and garnered significant wealth in his own regard. Rising to the top of the most infamous evil galactic empire and having little time to spend his own money, Vader would have accumulated substantial income, in addition to owning a majority share of the Death Star. He likely had several planets titled in his name alone. Given his extremely demanding schedule, we can assume Vader was not the most prudent when it came to his own estate planning and likely also died intestate.
Who then would inherit? As Darth did not remarry, naturally one would think his children, Luke and Leia would be the obvious answer. However, due to the Slayer Statute in Maryland, Luke would be precluded from inheriting from his father since he intentionally caused his death. Additionally, because Leia was legally adopted by the Organa’s when she was a baby, all of her rights to inherit through intestacy from Vader were effectively severed upon her adoption.
Therefore, neither Luke nor Leia would inherit Darth’s estate. After attempting to locate all potential heirs, it is more than likely that none would have been found and Darth Vader’s vast estate would have escheated back to the Empire.
Of the many lessons we can learn from estate planning for the Star Wars galaxy is making sure you have an estate plan in place. Without a will, we might leave our money and belongings to those we don’t want to have them or potentially to an evil galactic empire. If you would like to set up your own estate plan, contact Sinclair Prosser Gasior and we will guide you through the process.