Why These Musicians Cut Their Children Out of Their Will
via NEA ZIXNH / YouTube
Children of successful musicians often inherit substantial wealth, ensuring a comfortable life even after their parents pass away. However, some celebrities choose to exclude their offspring from their wills, leading to bitter inheritance disputes. These stars may believe that cutting off their children will protect them from the negative effects of excessive wealth. Yet, despite their intentions, estranged children often fight for their share of the fortune, resulting in lengthy court battles.
Marie Osmond, the renowned pop and country singer, values family and has made surprising decisions regarding her wealth. Despite her successful career and eight children, five of whom she adopted, Osmond intends to leave no inheritance for her kids. She believes this tough love approach will motivate them to pursue their true passions and find their own paths in life. Osmond has expressed her views on fame and fortune in various interviews, emphasizing her desire to enjoy her wealth during her lifetime and donate a significant portion to charitable causes. Interestingly, many of her children have already found success, both in and out of the public eye, with pursuits such as music and law enforcement.
French rock ‘n’ roll icon Johnny Hallyday, known for his tumultuous personal life, left a controversial will that excluded his biological children, Laura Smet and David Hallyday, in favor of his adopted children. This decision caused a legal dispute in France since excluding children from a will is against the law. The estate was frozen, and public support rallied behind Hallyday’s children, considering it unfair. Despite Hallyday’s immense wealth and even dedicating a hit song to his daughter, Laura, she was left with no inheritance or mementos. Eventually, the family reached a settlement with Hallyday’s widow, Laeticia, but the specifics were not disclosed publicly.
Rockstar Sting, known for his immense wealth and success, had a humble upbringing in England. Despite his fortune, he has decided not to pass on his millions to his eight children. Sting values work ethic and humility, wanting his children to earn their own success. He recalls his own early days as a struggling musician, emphasizing the importance of resilience and toughness. Sting acknowledges that he is already spending his money, making it impossible to pass on.
James Brown’s death sparked a lengthy and contentious battle over his estate. Despite having at least nine children, he only recognized six in his will, leading to multiple lawsuits that lasted 15 years. Originally, Brown planned to allocate his wealth to scholarships for needy children, but his children contested the will, alleging undue influence from his advisors. Though a settlement was initially reached in favor of his children, it was later overturned. One child, James Jr., was excluded from the fortune due to technicalities regarding his mother’s marriage to Brown. In the end, Brown’s wishes were largely respected, and his estate was sold for $90 million in 2021, with the majority going towards the scholarship fund.
Alejandra Guzmán, the Queen of Mexican rock, has made headlines for her turbulent family life. Recently, she announced that she would be excluding her daughter, Frida Sofía, from her will. The feud between them began when Sofía publicly accused her grandfather of molestation, which sparked a publicized family dispute. Guzmán has disinherited Sofía, although she allowed her to keep an apartment. Sofía responded to the news on social media with a defiant message.
David Cassidy, songwriter and actor, left his son Beau Cassidy a substantial inheritance of $1.68 million, while excluding his daughter from his will. The estrangement between David and his daughter Katie Cassidy had grown in the years leading up to his death. Despite missing out on a significant fortune, Katie spoke with admiration for her late father, appreciating the valuable advice he gave her. Katie, now a successful actress, emphasized the importance of education and self-esteem in her journey to success.
John Lennon’s relationship with Yoko Ono was controversial, as she was blamed for the breakup of the Beatles and the destruction of Lennon’s first family. Lennon favored his son with Ono, Sean Lennon, while abandoning his wife and eldest son, Julian Lennon. Julian was initially excluded from Lennon’s will but later received a share of the estate, estimated at around £20 million. Despite past bitterness, Julian forgave his father, recognizing the burden of anger on his own life.
Don McLean disinherited his daughter Jackie after she continued to speak out against him. Jackie lost her $3 million inheritance as a result. She described her childhood with McLean as abusive and fearful, while McLean denied the allegations. Jackie’s mother, Patrisha McLean, also condemned Don McLean’s actions, citing his cruelty and abusive behavior. The couple divorced in 2016 following domestic abuse charges.
Glen Campbell excluded three of his children from his will, leading to a legal battle after his death. The children were from his second marriage to Billie Jean Nunley. The will was contested in court in 2018, with Glen’s widow Kim Campbell as the executor. The reason for the exclusion is unknown, but there were difficulties in his relationship with Nunley. The children eventually abandoned their claim without a settlement. The estate was valued at $420,221.
Ric Ocasek’s estate made headlines in 2021 when changes to his will excluded his wife and two eldest sons. Ocasek had six sons, including Adam and Christopher from his first marriage. Christopher publicly criticized his father, describing him as absent and labeling him a narcissist. Porizkova reached a settlement regarding the estate, but no details were disclosed about Adam or Christopher.
Naomi Judd, a troubled country singer, died by suicide in 2022, leaving her daughters out of her will and awarding her estate to her husband, Larry Strickland. Although Ashley Judd was close to her mother, legal experts suggest that the decision may have been a practical one based on legal advice to simplify estate management.