Robert Craig Knievel “Evel Knievel” (1938-2007) – Daredevil
Evel Knievel gained worldwide fame between the late 1960s and early 1980s for nationally televised death-defying motorcycle jumps. In his career he attempted over 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps between 1965 and 1980, and in 1974, a failed attempt to jump across Snake River Canyon in Skycycle X-2, a steam-powered rocket. Knievel’s stunts gained him international recognition and resulted in 433 broken bones, earning him an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the survivor of “most bones broken in a lifetime.” According to the British newspaper, The Times, Knievel was one of the greatest American icons of the 1970s, and in 1999, Knievel was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
In 1977, Knievel assaulted Sheldon A. Saltman, Knievel’s former promoter, because of how Saltman portrayed Knievel’s personal life in his book. Knievel was convicted, and served six months in prison. After the conviction, Saltman sued Knievel,winning a $12.75 million judgement for damages, which was unpaid when Knievel died. With interest, that claim has ballooned to more than $64 million.
On March 31, 2006, about 20 months before his death, Knievel executed his Last Will and Testament. In it, he appointed his ex-wife, Krystal Kennedy Knievel, as his personal representative, granting her the authority to administer his estate. But, Knievel did not address how his finances would be handled. When Knievel died, the total value of his assets came to $12,500, including a 2005 V-Rod Harley Davidson Motorcycle valued at $10,000. It does not look like anyone is going to collect any money, as Knievel’s estate clearly does not have the finances to do so.
Evel Knievel was America’s favorite daredevil, but even daredevils can fail to properly plan. If you want to minimize the consequences of failing to properly plan your estate, then contact The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. for a free initial consultation on estate planning, trust planning, and/or probate issues.