Chadwick Boseman, Star of “Black Panther,” Dies Without a Will

Is it surprising that the actor Chadwick Boseman, who starred in Marvel’s “Black Panther,” died without a will?

Perhaps, yes, because his estate was large. CNBC reported that it was 2.3 million. But perhaps no, because according to a 2021 Gallup poll, only 36% of Americans between the ages of 30 and 49 indicated that they have a will that describes their wishes for their assets after death.

This article will highlight some interesting facts about the life of Chadwick Boseman and the division of his estate and share some tips about what life events might trigger a desire to get started on estate planning. 


Boseman’s widow, the musician Taylor Simone Ledward asked to split the 2.3 million estate between herself and his parents.


  • So far there has not been news that there has been a legal challenge to her decision. 
  • The L.A. Times reported here that Boseman’s widow requested an even split with the parents: 


 Boseman’s widow was able to honor him at the Gotham Awards. 

  • In January 2021, Ledward was able to honor Chadwick Boseman when he received a posthumous tribute “in acknowledgment not only of his profound work but of his impact on the industry and the world.”


  • She extolled his life, “He was able to give himself over fully in every moment to be totally present in his own life and in the lives of people he became.”

Are their life events that would be a good time to consider estate planning to avoid the Chadwick Boseman situation of passing away without a will? Yes, this summary from can help you see if it’s time to consider estate planning:


  • Upon turning 18, is the first life event where estate planning could be considered.
  • When you have accumulated money or other assets. 
  • When you get married, divorced or remarried. 
  • When you have children.
  • After you start a business.
  • After you purchase a home.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a serious illness. 
  • If it’s been a while – experts recommend updating your estate plan every four to five years. 

Consult the Law Office of David Knecht

Boseman’s meaningful life and the peaceful division of his estate upon death were laudable, exemplar, and highly unusual, and we commend his widow and parents for sharing his wealth without reported strife. However, you may not want to risk depending on good will and sharing by your family members after death. It’s never an easy time to consider estate planning, but it can lead to a greater peace of mind for yourself and your heirs to follow through.  Contact Law Office of David Knecht. Call us at 707-451-4502. We have extensive experience in estate planning and can help you make decisions that are right for your loved ones and you.