Life Insurance Lapses of our Loved Celebrities

Susy Zinn
3 min readAug 21, 2020


“When they say the sky’s the limit to me that’s really true.” — Michael Jackson

Celebrities are not like you and me. They live in a glitzy, glamorous world filled with luxury that we can only dream about in our wildest dreams — or so we thought. But sometimes, with the fame and great fortune that come with the celebrity lifestyle, these stars overlook the need for life insurance.

Here are some celebrities who made bad life insurance decisions:

1. Michael Jackson

The “King of Pop” was set to make a career comeback with a concert tour when he died of cardiac arrest from an overdose of anesthetics and sedatives leaving behind three young children.

When he died, he left a trust for his children that was never fully funded. His parents fought with his former attorney and manager to become executors of his estate. His former attorney and manager were appointed temporary administrator of his will and quickly settled for a life insurance payout of $3 million, though initial reports indicated that his policy was worth more than $20 million.

2. Heath Ledger

At 27 years old, the actor Heath Ledger died of drug overdose leaving behind one daughter.

He had a $10 million life insurance policy for his daughter, Matilda. The insurance company however tried to deny a part of the benefits because of the actor’s failure to disclose a speeding ticket and his recreational use of drugs plus the possibility of his death being from suicide.

Officials later ruled that his cause of death was accidental intoxication. The family lawyer filed a lawsuit against the insurance company on behalf of his daughter, who was 3-years old at the time. The parties reached a settlement out of court.

3. Whitney Houston

The singer/actress was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel — the cause of death was drowning contributed by cocaine use and a heart disease.

Documents from her 2007 divorce from Bobby Brown claimed she earned over $1 million from her performances. However, she only had $312k worth of life insurance.

Celebrity or not — life insurance is a must-have especially for someone with dependents. Deaths, like that of these celebrities, are a great reminder for us that tragedy can strike anyone (famous or not) at any time. One must get a solid life insurance to take care of their families and loved ones after they are gone.

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Susy Zinn

Susana Zinn is an Independent Life Insurance Agent based in Los Angeles, California.