Davy Jones may have believed in daydreams, but his widow and kids are having anything but a Pleasant Valley Sunday dealing with his estate. Davy Jones’s wife is battling his kids for a share of his estate. Jones, who married Jessica Pacheco in 2008, died in February 2012 of a heart attack at his home in Florida. His will which was drafted in 2004, before their marriage, left her out and left the bulk of his assets to his four daughters. After his death on February 29, 2012, the family took the unusual step of asking the probate court to seal the record in the case. Apparently, there are details in the estate planning documents and financial records that the family believes could have a negative impact on Davy Jones’s images and potentially a negative impact on his “copyrights, royalties and ongoing goodwill.”
One way Davy Jones could have avoided the internecine squabbling and kept everything private would have been to create a Living Trust. A Living Trust is a replacement for a will and has the benefit of being completely private. If Davy Jones had set up a Living Trust, then everything about his estate would have been shielded from the public. It’s always surprising to me when celebrities fail to do proper estate planning. I think it’s odd that these wealthy folks with teams of advisors don’t get or won’t heed the most basic good advice. You can easily avoid having anyone know anything about your private estate planning with a Living Trust.
It was reported when Davy Jones married Ms. Pacheco that his daughters stayed away from the wedding. Perhaps they didn’t approve of his marriage to a woman half his age and younger than some of his children. Ms. Pacheco is seeking a share of the estate under Florida Statutes 732.301 as the pretermitted spouse. The statute will allow her to receive “a share in the estate of the tester equal in value to that which the surviving spouse would have received if the testator died intestate”. The second lesson we can learn from Davy Jones’s family’s situation is that it is always important to have your estate plan reviewed by a qualified estate planning attorney any time there is a significant change in your life. Any time there is a marriage, divorce, child or grandchild born, it’s important to have your estate plan reviewed by a qualified estate planning attorney.