Monroe makeup artist's estate auctions rare photos

Marilyn Monroe is one of Hollywood's most enduring and tragic stars. Even after her death, her estate had issues settling who would receive her assets and possessions. Now, Monroe's personal makeup artist's estate is taking action to sell some photographs he took of her. Though this story is without any disputes, it does shed perspective on issues surrounding estate planning for Georgia families considering this important process.

Alan "Whitey" Snyder was a close, personal friend of Monroe's from the very beginning of her career until the untimely end. Though their relationship was tumultuous at times, the star deeply trusted her makeup artist. From time to time, when the movie star would get nervous, Snyder would snap photos of Marilyn to settle her nerves. Most of these photos have not been seen by the public until Snyder's estate made the recent decision to auction them off.

What many people may not realize is that an estate is an independent entity that can act and make money even after an individual has passed away. Snyder died in 1994, but his estate has decided to sell some of the photos from his personal collection nearly two decades after his death. Those responsible for his estate, or whoever received the photos in accord with his will, made the decision to sell these photos.

The decision to sell these personal photos raises important questions for those looking to plan their estate. Though he did not specify it during the estate planning process, there is a chance that Snyder did not want the photos to be sold or made public. As such, Georgia families going through estate planning should consider making specific instructions as to how personally valued possessions should be handled, whether or not they can be sold or donated to a charitable organization.

Estate planning may seem like an unnecessary step, or something just for the rich and famous, but it's not. Providing a will and specific instructions as to how you would like your assets to be distributed after you pass away is a very practical step for you and your loved ones. When a plan is put into place, it can help prevent unnecessary, stressful disputes that may occur during the estate administration process.

Source: NBC Today, "Never-before-seen Marilyn Monroe photos up for auction," Randee Dawn, March 16, 2012

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