By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
August 30, 2018
Can Rapper XXXTentation’s Unborn Child Be a Beneficiary of His Will?
In Deerfield Beach on June 18, XXXTentacion (born Janesh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy), a controversial Florida rapper, was shot and killed in a robbery attempt by four local men.
The tragedy occurred shortly after XXXTentacion signed a $10 million record deal. His death resulted in a seven-week manhunt for the suspects, in addition to a compelling legal question.
It was revealed on social media by his mother Cleopatra that the rapper’s girlfriend was with child shortly after his death.
After unveiling the news, Cleo filed a probate case for his estate on June 25. The filing included a death certificate and XXXTentation’s will. The 11-page document was signed by his mom, who was designated as the executor of his estate.
According his will, XXXTentation is unmarried and has no children. However, the will does leave a part of his estate to a potential minor beneficiary. According to the document:
“If any beneficiary hereunder is a minor, my Personal Representative may distribute such minor’s share to such minor or for such minor’s use to any person with whom such minor is residing or who has the care or control of such minor without further responsibility, and the receipt of the person to whom such minor’s share is distributed shall be a complete discharge of my Personal Representative.”
XXXTentation’s will leaves it uncertain whether his unborn child can be a beneficiary on his estate. While it does state that any of his beneficiaries who are minors should receive a share directly or through their caretaker, it does not name any of his minor descendants as a beneficiary. What does this mean for his baby-to-be?
The Probate Process
During the probate process, the beneficiaries of an estate is determined by the “Laws of Intestacy” if there is no will or the will is unclear.
According to this law, courts will typically distributes assets of a deceased person to their surviving spouse if the deceased had no children. If the deceased did have children, the estate would be distributed equally to the spouse and surviving children. If there is no surviving spouse, his surviving children would inherit the estate. If there is no spouse nor surviving children, the estate would pass to the deceased’s siblings, and so on.
Since XXXTentation had no spouse but did have an unborn minor child, there is a good chance that the Florida probate court handling his case may decide to recognize the child as a beneficiary. However, the child’s future may be uncertain because the will did not specifically address how any of XXTentation’s potential offspring’s assets or care should be handled.
XXXTentation’s case demonstrates the importance of having a detailed, solid will with language that covers a variety of potential scenarios, including the birth of future children.
To avoid costly litigation and confusion after your passing, we highly advise consulting with an estate planning attorney to ensure the language in your will reflects your wishes. Your attorney can help you draft legal documents that protect your loved ones, desires, and values.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose®
YOU ARE NOT OUR CLIENT UNLESS WE EXECUTE A WRITTEN AGREEMENT TO THAT EFFECT. MOREOVER, THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. EACH SITUATION IS HIGHLY FACT SPECIFIC AND EXCEPTIONS OFTEN EXIST TO GENERAL RULES. DO NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION, AS A CONSULTATION TO UNDERSTAND THE FACTS AND THE CLIENT’S NEEDS AND GOALS IS NECESSARY. ULTIMATELY WE MUST BE RETAINED TO PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE AND REPRESENTATION. THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AS A COURTESY AND, ACCORDINGLY, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.