Some very famous people have died without a will—including President Abraham Lincoln, singer Aretha Franklin, the artist formerly known as Prince, and Swedish writer Stieg Larsson. It’s not just famous people who die before getting around to writing their wills. In a 2020 survey by, 60% of respondents believe that estate planning is important, but fewer than 25% actually have a will. While it is advisable to consult an attorney, there are useful tools on the internet that can help you get started.

The IBMA Foundation began in 2007 with the thoughtful bequest of Richard Barnhart. A number of others have included bluegrass music in their estate planning. We’re more than a charity. We’re a community of industry friends, musicians of all levels, and fans around the world whose lives have been touched by bluegrass music in such a positive way that we want to share it with the next generation. Won’t you help us make the future of bluegrass music brighter?

What good bluegrass causes are you passionate about? We encourage you to consider the full menu of giving vehicles at to realize your own philanthropic goals. Together, we can make a difference.

Return to the November 2022 issue of The Cornerstone.