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Rock star who died without estate plan leaves family destitute

by | Jul 3, 2015 | Estate Planning |

Most people in California probably assume that rock stars’ financial lives are handled by legions of lawyers and accountants who make sure their clients’ wealth is safely invested and their posterity provided for. This is not always the case, however. As a recent news story illustrates, even those with substantial wealth sometimes fail to take the basic steps to make sure their families are protected from an untimely death.

A.J. Pero, drummer for the heavy metal band Twisted Sister, collapsed on a tour bus and died of a heart attack in March of this year. He was 55 years old. Unfortunately he did not leave a will or any estate plan, and he left behind a long-term girlfriend, two ex-wives and four children from those relationships.

Pero’s friend and bandmate, lead singer Dee Snider, says Pero’s death should serve as a warning to others not only to take care of their health but also to get their estates in order. Since Pero died without a will all his assets are frozen until a court determines how they should be distributed. And under the intestacy laws of most states his girlfriend of nineteen years would probably not be entitled to anything from his estate, since the couple never married. His girlfriend has been forced to set up a crowdfunding account online and ask for help on social media because she says she can’t support the couple’s daughter and pay the rent.

Estate planning is an important responsibility for anyone who has a family or loved ones who depend on them financially. Drawing up a simple estate plan is not complicated or expensive. Contacting an experienced probate and estate planning attorney is one way to make sure one’s loved one’s will not be left financially destitute when the unexpected occurs.

Source:, “Dee Snider Urges Fans to View A.J. Pero’s Death as a Cautionary Tale,” Jeff Cornell, June 25, 2015

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