Anthony Bourdain’s Lesson in Estate Planning

On his award-winning series, “Parts Unknown,” the late author and culinary-travel show host Anthony Bourdain brought the world of food back to his TV audience. Through the simple act of sharing meals, he showcased both the extraordinary diversity of cultures and cuisines, as well as how much we all have in common. While Bourdain amassed a sizable fortune during his tenure as an award-winning author and TV personality, his thorough estate planning will ensure his legacy is protected and passed on to his heirs.

According to his will, Bourdain’s assets include $425,000 in cash and savings, $35,000 in a brokerage account, $250,000 and personal property and $500,000 in intangible property. While the value of Bourdain’s estate per his will may seem low, a closer look at his will reveals that it does not include the value of assets held separately by a trust created by Bourdain back in 2016, such as his image rights, future income, royalties, and real estate.

Bourdain was thorough in making provisions for Ariane Bourdain, his only child, as the bulk of his estate will pass to her. While this may have been expected, keep in mind that in 2017 found that 60% of all Americans don’t have an estate plan. For Gen X and Millennials, currently in their child-rearing years, the numbers are even higher at 64% and 78%, respectively.

One interesting note of Bourdain’s estate plan revolves around a provision regarding his frequent flyer miles.  He left them to Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, his estranged wife, to “dispose of in accordance to what she believes to be his wishes.”  Bourdain made a career as a jet-setter, exploring both established and hole-in-the-wall culinary hotspots around the world. One can only guess how many miles he has racked up over the years.

Though your options are virtually limitless, proper estate planning -deciding on the “who, what, when, and how” and executing this with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees and court costs possible can be a challenging and emotional affair to wrestle with alone. For more information, contact Talley LLP today.