The Case of Chadwick Boseman’s $3.8Mil Estate: The Consequence’s of Improper Estate Planning


Chadwick Boseman,The Black Panther painting
Palmer, Brittney. The Black Panther cast. 2019

As a huge fan Chadwick Boseman, it was a must that I deliver a blog after news of his estate settlement. Primarily because in my profession as a notary public, I witness scenarios of this magnitude all the time.

Two years after actor and cultural icon Chadwick Boseman's untimely passing, a court finally settled his estate. The actor, like fellow compatriots Prince and Aretha Franklin, all died without a will, leaving their estate in disarray.

Boseman's career was characterized by intentional portrayals of historical figures and period pieces that saw him become a cultural ambassador. His career skyrocketed after he perfectly executed the Marvel superhero Black Panther role.


His posthumous role in Ma Rainey's Balck Bottom earned him a posthumous Golden Globe. It immortalized him as one of the greatest black actors to have graced the screen.

Even more shocking about his sudden death was the news that Boseman died without a will. Unfortunately, while many were surprised by this, this is the reality for many Americans.

Unfortunately, most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. They either keep putting it off until it's too late, or they mistakenly assume their limited wealth or assets don't require planning for the passing of their possessions. Though this is far from the truth, only 33% of Americans have a will or plans for their estate for when they die. The statistics are even direr for African Americans, with a whopping 70% not implementing any form of estate planning.

The Importance Of Estate Planning


It doesn't matter whether you have acres or just a quaint bungalow and a few thousand in the bank; estate planning is a vital part of your adult life. Planning the distribution of your assets makes a difference in covering your debts, funeral expenses, and most importantly, passing on generational wealth.

Many people think of estate planning as prematurely facing their mortality. But the truth is death is inevitable and planning, or it is wise and gives consideration to your remaining loved ones. An estate left with no planning usually leads to family strife. Children and other family members quickly turn to enemies when egos rise, and everyone assumes the title of favorite in hopes of walking away with the most. Many families have been torn apart due to a lack of hindsight for planning how your estate must be divided.

But most importantly, the effective estate passing on possessions is a direct route to creating generational wealth in your family. When you put in place the proper plans, whether via will or trust, even in death, you have made a structure that will uphold your final wishes for your family's future.

In Boseman's case, the courts took over, and his wife was made administrator of the state. She petitioned for the state to split evenly between her and his parents. In the end, the court agreed, and her request to be reimbursed for funeral expenses was also granted. However, as he died without a will, his estate had to cover legal and probate fees, putting a dent in the final amount.

Studies conducted by Consulting firm Cerulli.com highlight that over the next 25 years, an estimated $68 trillion will be transferred to heirs and charities. Probate costs can eat away 6-8% of this without a plan. No matter how small, all assets have value.

When you die, your family should be focused on relishing your memories and carrying on your legacy, not worrying about your estate.

Save them the hassle and contact BTP Notary Services for notarizing your estate planning ceremony.


S.I.P Chadwick Boseman

Nov. 29, 1976 - Aug. 28, 2020


Brittney T. Palmer

Notary Public, State of Florida

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