Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss sadly died without a Will
Stephen Boss, known to most as ‘tWitch’, was a choreographer, actor, and television producer, and his most recent role was as a co-host and co-executive producer for the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Stephen’s rise to fame is credited to being featured on So You Think You Can Dance, first as a contestant and later in his career as a Judge on the show!
On December 13, 2022, Stephen’s wife, Allison Holker, informed officials that he had left their home without taking his car, which was unusual behavior. Sadly, Stephen died in a motel room, at Oak Tree Inn, in Encino, Los Angeles by suicide. He leaves behind his wife, and their three children, Weslie, Maddox, and Zaia. He was laid to rest on January 4, 2023. His funeral was a private family ceremony. Family and close friends hope to put together a larger celebration of life for him in the future.
Due to this tragedy, we have learned that Stephen died without any estate planning documents, not even a Will. His wife had mentioned that when they married in 2013, he did not have a net worth. It’s the classic, “I don’t have anything, so I do not need a Will.” But at the time of his death, he ended up having a net worth of 5 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. His net worth is comprised of royalties from Cast and Crew Production Services, Disney Worldwide Services, Inc., to name a few, investment accounts, real estate properties, and of course his salary from movies and tv productions.
Many people may wonder, what happens next? The assets must automatically get transferred to the wife, right? Wrong. Spouses are entitled to each other assets, but they might not always be jointly held. Stephen had two properties in LA owed by his production company, a Goldman Sachs investment account, and all his royalties with no joint owners, no beneficiary, nor held in a trust. Unfortunately, due to not having a proper estate plan, the wife is not only dealing with her husband’s death but now must deal with the probate process, which is a costly and delayed process. According to California Law, when an asset fails to name a beneficiary or the asset is not funded into a trust, court action is necessary. The court will then have to determine heirs, then grant letters of authority for that individual to be able to access that asset and distribute it according to the Intestate laws of that State.
The lack of planning has left his wife to file with the court of California, which is what they refer to as a Spousal Property Petition. In Massachusetts, there is no Spousal Property Petition, you either file Formal or Informal Probate, and the courts do not expedite for anyone. The lesson here is to always stay updated with your estate plan. Even if you do not have much now, life is always changing. Obtaining valuable and important estate planning documents will not only help you during your lifetime but also plan ahead for you and your family.
A little bit of estate planning could have saved his wife the trouble of going through the courts for his assets. The key is to plan now and avoid unnecessaries burdens and expenses of what comes later when there is no plan.
To avoid a situation like Stephen's, make sure you are prepared for the unexpected. Set up your Strategic Planning Session with us today to begin your estate planning. You can schedule your session by giving us a call at 978-487-5219 or by booking an appointment online at BookMyPlanningSession.com!