Why Naomi Judd may have cut Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd out of will
Naomi Judd left her daughters, performers Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd, out of her will according to multiple reports. The country singer died by suicide in April at the age of 76.
Naomi has named her husband of 33 years, Larry Strickland, as executor of his $25 million estate. Judd’s brother-in-law Reginald Strickland and Wiatr & Associates chairman Daniel Kris Wiatr will be co-executors of the estate “in the event that my spouse ceases or fails to serve,” the document says.
The document says Strickland has “full authority and discretion” over any property that is an asset to Naomi’s estate “without court approval” or permission from any estate beneficiary, The Blast and Page Six report. . Strickland is entitled to receive “reasonable compensation” for its services. The will was prepared on November 20, 2017 and Naomi, who had a long history of depression, was “sane of mind, memory and understanding, and not under any compulsion or incompetent in any respect to make a final will and a will”.
Ashley and Wynonna, Naomi’s only children, are not mentioned in the document. Wynonna made up half of the musical duo, the Judds, with her mother. According to Radar, who broke the story, Wynonna is “distraught” to have been left out of the will, as she “believes she was a major force behind Naomi’s success.” Representatives for Ashley and Wynonna did not respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.
Sarah J. Wentz, Trusts & Estates partner at Fox Rothschild LLP, told Yahoo Entertainment that it’s “very common for spouses in a long-term marriage” to leave assets to their surviving partner. There may also have been a tax incentive behind Naomi’s decision.
“Typically, a spouse is concerned with making sure their surviving spouse has enough assets to live, comfortably, at the same standard of living for the rest of their life,” Wentz says, noting that Naomi is likely thought her husband “was in the best position to act as executor.”
Wentz adds, “Naomi’s two daughters have very busy careers. Administering an estate takes a lot of time. Naomi probably saw the role of executor as a huge burden that her daughters shouldn’t have to shoulder. .”
Wentz, who advises many musicians, celebrities and wealthy people on estate planning, says there may be “tax reasons why 100% of the estate was given to her husband.”
“An individual is allowed to gift $12,060,000 (the federal exemption) of total assets while alive or upon death. Anything else must be given to a spouse or it will result in a 40% tax on the assets above the federal exemption. It is possible that Naomi had already waived her federal exemption during her lifetime. If so, giving the assets to her spouse would have been the only way to avoid inheritance tax until ‘when he died,’ she explains.
One of the big question marks, however, is what happened to Naomi’s songwriting catalog.
“Naomi probably owned half the writing and performing rights to Judd’s music catalog. If she didn’t leave those rights to Wynonna, then Wynonna will own half the rights and Mr. Strickland will own the other. half,” Wentz said. Remarks. “Sharing singing and writing rights to music catalogs has perhaps created fights in the past. Although we don’t have full access to the planning that was completed during Naomi’s lifetime, it is interesting [if] she would not have left those rights to Wynonna.”
Ashley and Wynonna have openly mourned their mother for the past four months.
“The pain of losing Mom on 4/30 to suicide is so great that I often feel like I will never be able to fully accept and surrender to the truth that she left as she did. can’t be like this Judds story ends,” Wynonna, 58, wrote in May.
Ashley spoke with grief expert David Kessler about her Healing podcast a few weeks ago where she said the family — including her stepfather — remained close after Naomi’s death.
“One of the things that I think we did well as a family, which is my pop, my sister Wynonna and I, is that we really gave each other dignity and empowerment. to cry in our individual and respective ways,” the 54-year-old actress said. “And yet we’ve been able to stick together. So we can be at the same table and recognize, ‘Oh, this one’s angry, this one’s in denial, this one’s negotiating. , this one agrees, I “I’m in shock right now.’ “
Ashley continued, “I had some of the holiest, most sacred experiences with my dad. He, you know, my mom, my dad, and I are neighbors, and my sister is looking over the hill, and the dad comes in every morning…I wake up and do my readings and my writing and my meditation practice and connect with my partner and then pop comes and I make his coffee and his breakfast and we sit and we cry together.
MORE: Ashley Judd Writes Essay on Spending Her 1st Mother’s Day Without “Mom” Naomi Judd