The girlfriend of late rapper PnB Rock is speaking out about his not having life insurance or a will set up before he was murdered. She’s now in the unfortunate company of many other loved ones of young celebrities who died without getting their estates in order.
Over the Martin Luther King holiday Jr. weekend, a 15:23 minute clip of Stephanie Sibounheuang, the girlfriend and mother of the Philadelphia native’s youngest daughter Zuri, took to social media a little over four months after Rock’s death to talk about the couple’s lack of wealth and asset management. She blamed it on their being too young to think about those matters.
No Insurance, No Will
She informed her followers that since Rock has been gone, she has not had any financial help to raise their young daughter. Before his death, according to the Angel Energy influencer, Rock took care of her and her whole family. Sibounheuang says she does have Airbnbs and an apparel line to pay the bills and continue to support those in her circle.
“No, he did not have life insurance. No, he did not have a will. No, we didn’t have nothing set up…We’re so young we don’t plan on death,” she said on Instagram, adding, “I don’t get no death benefits. I don’t get nothing.”
On Sept. 12, 2022, PnB Rock was visiting Los Angeles. He and Sibounheuang were dining at a Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘N Waffles restaurant location when he was robbed and fatally shot. The 30-year-old Rock reportedly had a net worth of $3 million at the time of his death.
Sibounheuang, 31, is reportedly worth $1.5 million.
On her post, Sibounheuang did not go into how Rock’s family will be handling his estate and if the family has taken legal action to manage the estate. Rock has one brother and one other child in addition to the child he had with Sibounheuang. His mother is living; his father is deceased.
Sibounheuang said her personality doesn’t allow her to ask others for help, but she is working on it.
She is not the first to be in his position.
Beloved actor Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020 from colon cancer, did not leave a will. The “Black Panther” star, though diagnosed in 2016, had not set up provisions for his wife and parents. As a result, the government was able to take a large chunk of his $3.8 million assets.
Taylor Simone Ledward, his widow, was appointed to oversee his estate, and petitioned the court to equally distribute the funds between her and Boseman’s parents, Leroy and Carolyn Boseman. After taxes, court and legal fees, the family was left with $2.3 million to divide between the two parties.
Multi-platinum rapper DMX is another notable with top-charting albums, including two albums reaching #1 on Billboard in the same year, but had no will or life insurance policies left for his family after his demise. He reportedly left behind 15 children.
“Despite selling more than 74 million albums and enjoying a wildly successful career in both music and movies, DMX, who died without a will, left behind an estate that some estimates report being millions of dollars in debt,” wrote Gregory Robinson, the owner of estate planning company The Robinson Advocacy Group, on his blog. “Even though DMX likely died deeply in debt, just weeks after his passing, multiple members of his family, which includes 15 children from nine different women, petitioned the court seeking to become administrators of the late rap star’s estate.”
He added, “While DMX’s estate may currently be in the red, his loved ones are presumably fighting over the right to control the rap icon’s recording and publishing royalties, which will likely be a lucrative source of future income.”
It is estimated that royalties from DMX’s posthumous releases, recording royalties and licensing opportunities will quickly get the estate out of the red and get them in the black to an estimated tune of $17.7 million.
“With so much wealth at stake and so many children, DMX’s failure to create an estate plan will likely mean his loved ones will be stuck battling each other in court for years to come,” Robinson pointed out, “And perhaps no one stands to suffer more than DMX’s fiancée, Desiree Lindstrom.”
Coolio is an example of how it’s not just young people making poor choices when it comes to pre-death financial care.
After his death, Grammy Award-winning rapper Coolio, 59, left his family’s finances in shambles when no will was set in place, according to Economic Times.
Seven of his 10 children were characterized as “probable beneficiaries” to his estimated more than $6 million estate. While he did not have a will in place, the estate had other legal documents that proved to be helpful in sorting out any money issues such as personal properties, financial accounts, insurance policies, royalties and demand deposit accounts.
Record Label Benefiting from Artists’ Deaths
Ironically, record labels are reportedly taking out life insurance policies on their investments after signing them because some artists, particularly drill rappers, who often have gang affiliations, are considered high risks. Many have been killed shortly after reaching fame.
French Montana mentioned this phenomenon about life insurance policies in an interview with DJ Akademiks, saying, “Somebody gets shot, your rap friends stop picking up, the labels stop picking up. It gets crazy. But now it’s even crazier because they gettin’ life insurance on artists.”
He added, “You’re supposed to have life insurance anyway, but when the label does it … if you don’t have one, that’s crazy.”
Why Estate Planning Is Important for All Adults
Entertainment attorney Alicia Ferriabough Taylor in a RED Talks discussion on “Women in Hip-Hop” with the Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. said that her office is starting to take that extra step to strongly encourage artists to get life insurance. Ferriabough, the senior associate at the Law Offices of Robert A. Celestin, represented XXXTentacion, Pop Smoke and PnB Rock while they were alive. All three died without having their wills or life insurance policies in order.
In an exclusive interview with Finurah, Ferriabough Taylor talked about the importance of a policy. “They don’t think. They just think the money’s gonna last forever, but a life insurance policy is instant liquidity for their family members so that they’re not stressing out about how to pay for a funeral. That’s some real stuff right there. Most people don’t have $15,000 just hanging around ready to be used on something like a funeral.”
She added that a will is just as important.
“A lot of people think that if I’m not married then my money automatically goes to my mother, but what if there’s a father that’s alive (even if your parents aren’t married or you were estranged from your father)? That father gets a notification that you’re deceased and he’s going to be entitled to your estate with your mother.”
“If you’re not married but there is a child you might have or a child you don’t even know? If you don’t leave a will and you think everything will go to your mother, sister, brother, or others, te court has no idea what to do with your money except give it to that child’s mother and put it in a trust for the baby,” she said. “And that gets tricky too because if you don’t have a will, your child, and that money in the trust for the child, as soon as they turn 18, can have carte blanche access to it. They could blow that all away.”
According to Ferriabough, a will also allows for provisions to be made for beneficiaries, so that generational wealth is maintained. It is her goal to share with her clients going forward all the steps needed to get life insurance, a responsibility management should handle, but with so many artists finding themselves in these dire straits she believes it is the right thing to do.