We may always love her—but Dolly Parton is preparing for a world without her in it.
At 74, the seemingly immortal country icon may be more popular than at any time in her 50-plus-year career, appearing everywhere from inspiring pandemic Instagram posts and podcasts to Peloton bike screens and Black Lives Matter murals. Yet in a recent interview with Billboard magazine, the 9-to-5 songwriting legend says she’s learned a thing or two from the deaths of music giants like Prince and Aretha Franklin, who both died without a will.
Dolly said her priority is to get her estate in order and plan with her legacy in mind for the sake of avoiding family squabbles; her husband of 54 years, Carl Dean; and the more than 4,000 employees at her entertainment juggernaut in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
“I would not want to leave that mess to somebody else,” Parton told the reporter and added some advice that applies even to those who might let Jolene take their man. “A word to all the other artists out there: If you haven’t made those provisions, do that. You don’t want to leave that mess to your family for people to have to fight over. You need to take care of that yourself, even if it’s a pain in the ass—and it is.”
Life is messy and unpredictable, even if you are neither a celebrity nor a drug addict. Take Dolly’s advice and sit down with a reputable estate planning lawyer who can guide you every step of the way and get your empire in order.
About the Author:
John O’Grady leads a full-service estate and trust law firm in San Francisco. His practice includes estate planning & administration, probate and trust litigation.