“Wake Me Up,” the popular song by Swedish musician Avicii, seemed an appropriate way to start a blog about his death at age 28. The song was about the sudden realization he had of his unbelievably good life. His life was short but packed with a whirlwind of success. In his short time as an artist he earned so much money that he donated his money from one of his tours to a charity, plus $1M dollars. Unfortunately, his good deeds died with him because he died without a will.
It seemed the high cost of fame led to his untimely death by a self-inflicted wound in April 2018. Under Swedish law, his parents inherited all his assets and the charities he once believed in received nothing. There was charity in life, but no charity in death.
People who are in the Generation X or Baby Boomer generation may not have a clue as to who the Grammy-nominated artist with the stage name Avicci was. They may, however, remember the song being used in the trailer for the 2014 movie the Lego Movie or the 2019 movie A Dog’s Way Home and other commercials. Whether you remember the artist or not, there is an important lesson that can be learned from his life and death.
I’ve heard people say they do not care what happens to their worldly possessions when they die. I do not know if that is just tongue and cheek or they truly have not thought it through. Although they may not care about their worldly possessions, they may care about helping others. You cannot take your worldly possessions with you when you die, but some less fortunate people could benefit from your charity with a properly drafted will or trust.
The good charity Avicii believe in and lived by during his life died with him. He did not even make out a simple will before he took his life. The fact that none of us are promised tomorrow should encourage us to take the appropriate steps to draft a will that conveys our wishes as to how we want our worldly possession distributed. The lyrics of the song Wake Me Up go, “So wake me up when it’s all over, when I’m wiser and I’m older . . .” Don’t wait too long to create your estate plan because it could be too late. Not all of us grow older.
If you have been giving to a charity or wanted to give to a charity but could not afford to, then you have one last chance to donate to your favorite charity in your will. Avicii’s death is good reminder that everyone dies, even the young. If you are charitable in life or wanted to be, then consider charity in death.
Contact us at the Law Office of Hugh Spires, Jr. PLLC to discuss your estate planning needs.