Deceased Celebrities Still Making Millions
Life is by far the most valuable commodity on the planet. It is one of the few things that money cannot buy - although it may help extend the inevitable. Some may assume that when the internal clock stops so does the ability to generate income. This may be true for some and is in fact a major selling point for many life insurance providers. However, it is possible to still generate income once you have died.
The "King of Pop" died in June 2009 at the age of 50. Over the span of his entertainment career Jackson made around $500 million from his music, concerts, videos and endorsements. After the unfortunate passing of the King of Pop, several rumors spurred around Jackson's financial affairs. Many sources claimed that Jackson was on the brink of bankruptcy when he passed.
If that was truly the case then his revenue surely skyrocketed after his death. In the two years following his passing Michael Jackson's estate made an estimated $400 million off of "This Is It" the movie, album sales, endorsements and royalties. Not only does Jackson's estate make money off of his own music, but also of several other well-know musicians. The reason is that Jackson paid roughly $47.5 million in 1985 to buy a publishing catalog containing music by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and many others. Although Sony did buy half the rights years later for around $90 million, the Jackson estate still receives 50% of the profits from the Sony/ATV joint venture. Jackson just may have made more money dead already than when he was alive.
Known for revolutionizing several industries, Steve Jobs created a legacy that still lives on through Apple. Although he was only 56 years old when he died in October 2011, Jobs was a major force in the technology industry over the past three decades and his creativity will be greatly missed. Prior to his passing, Jobs had transferred several assets into a trust. The assets included three real estate properties, around 5.5 million Apple shares and nearly 138 million Disney shares. Despite the fact that not all assets within the Jobs trust are public information, the dividends from the Apple and Disney shares alone are making millions yearly. Disney currently yields 1.3% or $0.60. This means the Disney shares are earning almost $83 million per year, and the recently announced $2.65 quarterly Apple dividend will be sure to add millions more.
Sam Walton is the founder of retail giant Walmart. In 1962, Walton opened the first Walmart in Rogers, Ark. When he died in 1992 he was already a billionaire several times over. Walton setup a partnership called Walton Enterprises. Ownership of Walton Enterprises was set so that each of Walton's four kids owned 20%, Helen Walton owned 10%, and Sam Walton himself the remaining 10%. The Walton Enterprise owns approximately $1.68 billion Walmart shares. At today's price of around $67.53, the shares are now worth over $113 billion. With the $1.59 dividend, Walmart offers the Walton Enterprise about $2.67 billion in annual dividends.
Even though he passed away in 1955, Einstein still has one of the most recognizable names and faces in the world. As a result, many companies want to use Einstein's name or face to promote a product. According to Forbes, Einstein made roughly $18 million dollars through various royalties between November 2006 and October 2007. These products range from mugs, calendars, action figures and Disney's Baby Einstein line of various products. Unfortunately, Einstein has no living heirs to claim the millions each year. Instead, all of the money received from Einstein paraphernalia goes to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at the bequest of Einstein.
You may not be all too familiar with him by name, but you are most likely familiar with his books. Larsson is the author behind the successful "Millennium Trilogy," or better known as "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest." Larsson died suddenly in 2004 from a heart attack at the age of 50. Since Larsson's passing, his books have turned into an international phenomenon and brought in over $45 million dollars from book sales alone. His estate has also made much more in movies rights from both the Swedish and English versions of books. At the time of Larsson's death, he had no will in place which meant that Larsson's estate was inherited by his father and brother. This has since caused disputes between Larsson's family and Eva Gabrielsson, Larsson's common-law partner of about 30 years. According to Swedish law, Gabrielsson is not entitled to any of the estate
As shown, income does not have to stop when you die. The latter names will be forever remembered for making a difference in the world and in the pocket books of those who inherited the estate. Although the vast majority of individuals do stop earning income once they have kicked the bucket, it is still possible to continue earning income well beyond your last days.