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30 Celebrities Who Died Without a Will  

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It's surprising to note that so many famous musicians, actors, and athletes have died without leaving a will. When fame – and large sums of money – are involved, you might expect those types of preparations to be made well in advance. But a number of celebrities either passed away unexpectedly or left behind disputed documents. Some famous people who didn't have wills had their estates divided amicably by family members, but most celebrities who died without wills ended up having the rights to their estates battled out in courts for years.

Arguably, the most famous case on this list is Michael Jackson. While Jackson did, in fact, have a will, it resulted in years of legal battles between his siblings and attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain, who were named the executors of Jackson's estate. Similarly, Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 without leaving a will, provoking decades of legal fights between his family members. In 2009, his siblings ended up in court over the rights to the musician's iconic image. Other celebrities who died without a will include Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, and Prince.

Who else will you find on this list? Read on to find out.

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Kurt Cobain's entertainment lawyer, Rosemary Carroll, has stated that Kurt Cobain's will was incomplete as he wanted Courtney Love taken out of it. This ambiguity has led to many legal battles between Love and Cobain's Nirvana bandmates, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 30 Celebrities Who Died Without a Will
Photo: Marion S. Trikosko/Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s estate has been the subject of many lawsuits since the civil rights leader died without a will. His offspring did form a corporation in order to fairly control his assets, but then they ended up fighting over stakes in that venture.

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Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 30 Celebrities Who Died Without a Will
Photo: Rama/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0 FR

Amy Winehouse died without a valid will stating what to do with her $6.7 million estate. Her assets went to her closest living relatives, her parents Mitch and Janis.

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Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 30 Celebrities Who Died Without a Will
Photo: Unknown/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 without leaving a will. For decades, his family members participated in legal fights over his estate. In 2009, his siblings went to court over the rights to the musician's iconic image.

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