“Late Rapper Coolio’s Estate” by Attorney Ayana Johnson (Audio)
It is incredibly sad that the Grammy-award winning artist Coolio passed away in September 2022. Coolio was well-known for his music, including his hit song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” and “Aw, Here It Goes!” which served as the opening music for a 1990’s hit TV show called Kenan & Kel. He was a frequent collaborator with other famous musical artists, including Snoop Dogg and the Wu-Tang Clan. He appeared in dozens of films and television shows during his time in Hollywood, and he himself starred in a web series called Cookin with Coolio, and a reality show called Coolio’s Rules.
Coolio’s Rules was a show focused on how Coolio, a proud father, parented his children and set rules in his household. The show featured Coolio, as well as his four teenage children. Coolio often spoke in interviews about fatherhood, his children, and his grandchildren.
Shortly after his passing, it became known that Coolio never created an estate plan. He leaves behind ten children and five grandchildren. How could this happen, and what does it mean for his family?
When a person passes away without an estate plan in place, it is called passing “intestate.” When an individual passes intestate, the state will step in and impose their own plan for what should happen to the assets the deceased person left behind. When a person passes away intestate, a probate is opened. During the probate process, the state will define who the deceased’s “heirs” are and how the estate will be divided among those heirs. In Coolio’s case, his children will most likely inherit from him equally. This division may have been exactly what Coolio would have wanted, but unfortunately, we will never know his true intentions. Further, it is important to keep in mind that between ten children, money may be split evenly.
It is possible that some of Coolio’s children may have had strained relationships with their father or may have been estranged from him. Some of his children may need the money more than others. Other children may have helped Coolio in his entertainment ventures and may cherish awards or memorabilia more than other children of his. Regardless, without a Last Will and Testament or Trust outlining Coolio’s wishes, the state will not be inclined to look into these factors, nor consider them when dividing the estate.
Coolio’s passing may serve as a reminder for some of us – estate planning is incredibly important. Putting together a comprehensive estate plan allows a person to put their affairs in order ahead of time. It allows a person to plan for their family and to provide for them accordingly. We never know when our last day on earth may be so it is important to plan ahead while we are still able to do so.
For more information about wills, trusts, and estate planning, please join us for a FREE upcoming seminar or online webinar. If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning, contact an experienced estate planning attorney at Sinclair Prosser Gasior by calling (410) 573-4818 to schedule an appointment.
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