It was reported today that Bobbi Kristina Brown, Whitney Houston’s 19 year old daughter with ex-husband Bobby Brown, is set to inherit all of her mom’s estate. However, given the troubled state of Whitney’s finances, has she left her daughter an overwhelming, mess to deal with?
Houston first created a will in 1993, when Bobbi was born. She amended it in 2000. In it’s current form, it stipulates that “any child of mine who survives” will receive all furniture, clothing, personal effects, jewellery and cars, as well as the balance of the estate. Proceeds from the estate will be placed in a trust and Bobbi will have access to portions of it when she turns 21, 25 and 30-years-old.
But what has Bobbi been left with? Though the specific assets left by the will of Whitney Houston are not clear in reports they are estimated to have a $20 million dollar value. However, at the end of January it was reported that she had blown through the multimillion-dollar fortune she amassed after bursting onto the R&B scene in 1983. A source told RadarOnline, “Music industry heavy hitters are supporting her and her label is fronting her cash against her next album, but no one knows when that will be released. She might be homeless if not for people saving her. She is broke as a joke.” Her home in New Jersey was said to be in danger of being repossessed and another home in Atlanta already had been.
According to music industry blogger Wayne Rosso, who headlined his latest entry: “Whitney to Sony: ‘I Will Always Owe You”, Houston was out of cash in 2001 when she signed what was said to be a $100 million deal with Sony for six albums. While the agreement could have been worth $100 million if things had gone right, Houston only collected about $40 million. Based on the meager sales figures of that album, “She owes Sony at least $20 million,” Rosso said, which is why she needs to sell millions of albums posthumously to help her estate.
Whitney is going to have to sell 5 million albums before her family sees a penny, according to Rosso. Although sales of Houston’s music have seen a significant rise since her shocking death on Feb. 11, the eve of the Grammys, he estimates that her greatest-hits album would have to occupy the No. 1 slot on the Billboard charts for the next six months to hit the goal. This is very unlikely to happen according to Rosso. Whitney, like so many smart and talented women, needed to be smarter about her financial management.
However, she was wise in that she signed a prenuptial agreement before her marriage to Bobby Brown. They were married in 1992, and Bobby was cut out of her estate by the prenup. Only int he case of Bobbi’s death would her father get any of the estate. For women with this kind of wealth and career power, a prenup is often a very wise move. Look at Katy Perry and Russell Brand. According to Forbes, the 27-year-old “Fireworks” singer is worth at least $44 million, but some reports suggest it could be more. Perry did not sign a prenup and as a result, in the state of California, he has the right to half of her earnings. He ended up not taking the $20 million though. Something tells me Bobby Brown would take anything.