Prince, Tupac Shakur, and Kurt Cobain left their vision and their life work in the hands of…well..whoever was assigned by the court after they died. Certainly not a person chosen by them to handle their legacy.
Your blogs, selfies, Facebook posts, and videos probably don’t have the depth and breadth of what these artists left behind, but maybe you should also think about what people see and hear from you after you’re gone.
Prince’s situation might be the saddest of the three artists. During his lifetime he meticulously managed his image and his music, carefully directing, with legal action if necessary, the purity of his vision. But he left no provisions for how to curate his legacy to best guide his vision beyond his death.
“I don’t think about gone,” Prince once said. It’s a sentiment so many of us share until we reach the age when gone can be clearly seen, not so far in the distance. But even when gone doesn’t appear to be in sight, it can come suddenly, as it did for Prince.
By refusing to think of it, Prince abdicated his ability to define his image, his musical legacy, and his carefully constructed image of who he was as an artist and as a person.
In 1998, Prince told Guitar World, “…what they did with that Beatles song [‘Free As a Bird’], manipulating John Lennon’s voice to have him singing from across the grave… that’ll never happen to me. To prevent that kind of thing from happening is another reason why I want artistic control.”
Would Prince have approved of Justin Timberlake’s ‘duet’ with his image at the 2018 Superbowl? It seems unlikely.
His beloved home and recording complex, Paisley Park, is now half museum and half amusement park with a steady flow of tourists always present. Would Prince have wanted this? Maybe. Maybe not. His wishes aren’t known so Paisley Park operates according to the wishes of someone else. Someone he didn’t select and didn’t direct.
Prince eschewed commercialism, but now Prince related merchandise is sold at a ballpark. Music he chose not to release has been lifted from his music vaults and exposed to everyone. Prince, according to his ex-wife, was a “fierce philanthropist”. It’s probably fair to guess that nothing will be left for charitable causes once the battles over his estate by his heirs, whoever those turn out to be, have been hashed out by the lawyers who, of course, will take their own substantial portion.
Your estate isn’t any less valuable to your heirs than the huge and complicated estates left behind by wealthy celebrities is to their heirs. And your legacy, although it might be mostly Facebook, blogs, videos, and Pinterest rather than master recordings and the ephemera of celebrity is important to you and will be important to those you leave behind. If you care, if you want people to remember who you really were after you’re gone, make sure your family can find not just your documents and accounts but also the digital wake of videos, blogs, posted thoughts, and selfies you’ve created during your own journey.
If you want to preserve your own thoughts and wishes and dreams, as well as the assets you will leave behind, you must be sure those wishes will reach your survivors. Our service, AfterVault.com, is the perfect service for making sure those wishes are known. Your wishes are organized and kept securely online. If something happens to you, AfterVault.com alerts your family or friends and tells them how to get the information in your online vault, organized and in one simple step.