Estate Planning and Honey Boo Boo
Looking back, many would argue that America, and the world for that matter, was not ready for TLC’s reality TV Show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Created in 2012, the show revolved around six-year-old pageant starlet Alana, aka Honey Boo Boo, and her family who lived a modest lifestyle in rural Georgia.
If you are at all familiar with the show, sophistication is likely the last word that comes to your mind. However, while Honey Boo Boo and the Shannon family may not appear to be the most educated people in the country, June Shannon, aka Mama June, may be more financially savvy than most Americans.
In fact, Hollywood is ripe with stories of child actors whose fortunes were mismanaged by their parents—Macaulay Culkin and Leann Rimes are two examples of child stars who had to wrestle their fortunes from the hands of their parents. Mama June, it seems, was determined to avoid such a fate for her family.
Last January, Mama June explained in an interview that the $15,000 – $20,000 the family receives for each episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was equally divided into trust funds for each of her children.
By creating a trust fund for her kids, Mama June has shown that a trust is an effective legal device that can be used by anyone, not just the super wealthy. Under the provisions of Mama June’s trust, her children will be unable to access the money earned from the show until they turn 21 (or in the event of a medical emergency).
Unfortunately, today, Anna ‘Chickadee’ Cardwell, one of Mama June’s daughters, claims Mama June drained nearly $15,000 from her trust fund. The exact details of the trust funds created by Mama June are unclear.
However, if ‘Chickadee’s’ claims are to be believed, it would mean Mama June may have set up a revocable trust as opposed to an irrevocable trust. As to whether ‘Chickadee’s’ allegations have merit, consider the fact that the young reality TV star is now promoting “essential oils that cure Ebola”.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was recently canceled by TLC when it was discovered that Mama June reignited a relationship with a man who was convicted of molesting one of Honey Boo Boo’s younger relatives.
Regardless of how the Honey Boo Boo drama pans out, do not underestimate the importance of using trusts in your estate plan. If you need guidance with a will contest or estate planning matter in North or Central New Jersey, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 908-236-6457 at your convenience. We also make house calls in Northern New Jersey and New York City.
UPDATE: Recently, Mama June paid Chickadee back $15,400. For a full update click here.