Music superstars who died without leaving a will

Prince — latest no-will casualty

Prince in London in 2007.
Getty Images

These music superstars sang and strummed their hearts out on the way to worldwide fame and untold fortune — only to fail to protect their portfolios and pass them safely on to heirs by neglecting to draw up a last will and testament. As the stories of these 11 celebrities attest, everyone — rich or poor, famous or not — can make bad financial decisions. Prince, who passed away April 21 at age 57 of as yet undetermined causes, reportedly had no will at the time of his death, according to papers filed by his sister this week. His estate has been reported as totaling some $300 million.

"Some of the most important financial planning recommendations do not fall within the realm of investment, insurance or retirement planning, but instead involve estate planning with wills, powers of attorney and advance directives," said Tim Maurer, wealth advisor and director of personal finance for Buckingham and the BAM Alliance and author of "Simple Money."

"We avoid the discussion because it involves a topic we'd rather not consider, but while the probability of your imminent passing is low, the damage done from a lack of estate planning is so significant that it demands our immediate attention."

— By CNBC's Kenneth Kiesnoski
Posted 27 April 2016

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse
Gareth Cattermole | Getty Images

Died: July 23, 2011 (age 27)

Cause of death: Alcohol poisoning

Reported size of estate at death: $4.66 million

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana
Frank Micelotta Archive | Getty Images

Died: April 5, 1994 (age 27)

Cause of death: Suicide

Reported size of estate: $450 million

Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur
Steve Granitz Archive | WireImage | Getty Images

Died: Sept. 13, 1996 (age 25)

Cause of death: Homicide

Reported size of estate at death: $40 million

Jimi Hendrix

American guitarist and singer Jimi Hendrix
Baron Wolman | Iconic Images | Getty Images

Died: Sept. 18, 1970 (age 27)

Cause of death: Suspected drug overdose

Reported size of estate at death: $175 million

Bob Marley

Bob Marley
Andrew Hussein | Getty Images

Died: May 11, 1981 (age 36)

Cause of death: Cancer

Reported size of estate at death: $30 million

Sonny Bono

Singer Sonny Bono
Ron Galella | WireImages | Getty Images

Died: Jan. 5, 1998 (age 62)

Cause of death: Skiing accident

Reported size of estate at death: $15 million

Barry White

Singer Barry White
POP-EYE | ullstein bild | Getty Images

Died: July 4, 2003 (age 58)

Cause of death: Stroke

Reported size of estate at death: $20 million

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye
Paul Natkin | Getty Images

Died: April 1, 1984

Cause of death: Homicide

Reported size of estate at death: $5 million

John Denver

John Denver
Gijsbert Hanekroot | Redferns | Getty Images

Died: Oct. 12, 1997 (age 53)

Cause of death: Airplane crash

Reported size of estate at death: $60 million

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday
Michael Ochs Archives | Getty Images

Died: July 17, 1959 (age 44)

Cause of death: Cirrhosis/heart failure/pulmonary edema

Reported size of estate at death: $1 million

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