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A Lesson on Life Insurance from the Queen of Soul

Even the most legendary of creatives struggle with financial planning. There are some unexpected lessons for us to take away from Aretha Franklin's example in that arena.

The surprising truth...

As September has crept onto the calendar, it is notable at the passing of The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, that it is aptly Life Insurance Awareness Month. A number of posthumous articles written on Aretha have revealed that she passed intestate (without a will or without an updated will). The same is true of several other incredibly famous and successful artists such as Prince, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and Heath Ledger. The true reality for many (perhaps most) creatives is that planning for passing is generally avoided or neglected. Even in the cases of the biggest stars, who presumably each had a team of professionals managing wealth and planning, it's not done in any capacity.

While failing to leave behind a trust or will to settle your estate may indeed prove arduous, contentious and expensive for your heirs, the simple fact is that this is not the first priority in being a somewhat-prepared future deceased. Smartistry, while not looking to remind everyone that life is, unfortunately, a terminal illness, seeks to remedy a very common issue among creatives – lack of sufficient life insurance. Often, when considering the purchase of life insurance, many people only consider high dollar amount policies which are put in place to replace lost income, to cover outstanding debts, or even to pass on a nice nest egg to the future generation.

This quiet epidemic infects our circle when we find ourselves coping with the sudden loss of a cherished member of our creative community – someone who unfortunately didn't have insurance. As a result, time and time again our close-knit community finds itself in the sad predicament of crowd-funding final expenses- a safety net that, while loving and noble, wears increasingly and perilously thin. A very simple, often very inexpensive, life insurance policy can prevent added distress and provide stability and comfort to the family and friends of the dearly departed at this unexpected and overwhelming time.

Being a creative does not exempt us from the responsibility or joys of living well. Living and dying happen every day. Consider for a moment the impact your own sudden departure would have on those who love you, support you, and who cherish your contributions to the creative landscape – they would want to honor your wishes with dignity and respect. Prefunding those efforts is not only a way to show your understanding and ownership of the inevitable, but to show them how much you cared about how they would handle your ultimate passing.

Contact us to today to talk about putting a policy in place. Live well. Be SmART.

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