Who Inherited Selena’s Money? Exploring the Late Singer’s Estate

It’s been over 25 years since the tragic and untimely death of Selena Quintanilla-Perez. But despite her passing, her legacy has continued to live on through her music, fashion, and philanthropy. And with all of her incredible success, one question still lingers on in the minds of many fans – who inherited Selena’s money?

For years since her passing, rumors have swirled around about who was left to inherit Selena’s vast fortune. Some have said that her family members were entitled to everything, while others claimed that her husband at the time, Chris Perez, received the bulk of her assets. But the truth is that the answer isn’t so cut and dry.

So, sit back and get ready to dive into this fascinating topic as we uncover the mystery surrounding Selena’s estate. You’ll learn about the complexities of her posthumous business dealings, the legal disputes that arose after her death, and ultimately, who was awarded ownership of her sizable net worth. Whether you’re a long-time fan of Selena or simply interested in the inner workings of the music industry, this article is sure to provide some intriguing insights into the life and legacy of this iconic artist.

Selena’s Estate Planning

One of the most important aspects of Selena’s financial legacy is her estate planning. Many people assume that estate planning is something only the wealthy need to worry about, but in reality, it is a critical process for anyone who wants to ensure their assets are distributed according to their wishes after their death. Selena was only 23 years old when she was tragically killed, but thankfully she had already taken steps to protect her financial interests and her family.

  • Selena created a will: A will is a legal document that specifies how a person’s assets should be distributed after their death. Selena’s will designated her father, Abraham Quintanilla, as the executor of her estate and left the bulk of her assets to her husband, Chris Perez.
  • Selena established a trust: A trust is another way to transfer assets to beneficiaries after death, but with certain advantages over a will. Trusts can minimize estate taxes, avoid probate, and provide more privacy for the estate. Selena set up a trust that benefited her husband and siblings, with her father managing the trust as the trustee.
  • Selena made gifts to loved ones: In addition to her will and trust, Selena also made some direct gifts to her family members. She gave her sister, Suzette, a life insurance policy, and she and her husband purchased a house for her parents. These gifts helped to avoid potentially contentious disputes over her assets after her death.

Overall, Selena’s estate planning was a smart and effective way to protect her assets and provide for her loved ones after her death. By taking the time to establish a will, set up a trust, and make specific gifts, she ensured that her wishes were carried out and her financial legacy was secured.

It’s important for everyone to consider estate planning as part of their financial strategy, regardless of their age or income level. By working with a qualified estate planning attorney, individuals can ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes and that their loved ones are protected in the event of their passing.

Key Takeaways:
• Estate planning is a critical process for protecting assets and providing for loved ones after death.
• Selena’s estate plan included a will, a trust, and direct gifts to family members.
• Estate planning can help minimize taxes, avoid probate, and provide privacy for the estate.

Legal considerations in inheritance

When it comes to inheritance, there are several legal considerations that must be taken into account. These considerations include taxes, probate, and the laws that govern the distribution of assets. It’s crucial to have a solid understanding of these legal issues before making any decisions regarding the distribution of an inheritance.

  • Taxes: Inheritance taxes can be a significant burden on the recipient of an inheritance. It’s essential to understand the tax laws in your state and how they apply to inheritance. Consulting with a tax professional can help you plan for and manage any potential taxes that may come with an inheritance.
  • Probate: Probate is the legal process that occurs after the death of an individual. During probate, the court determines the validity of the deceased person’s will and the distribution of their assets. This process can be lengthy and expensive, so it’s important to understand how it works and how to minimize any associated costs.
  • Laws governing distribution: Depending on the state, there may be laws that dictate how assets are distributed. For example, some states require that a certain percentage of an inheritance goes to the deceased person’s spouse or children. Understanding these laws can help ensure that the distribution of assets is legal and fair.

In addition to these legal considerations, it’s essential to have open and honest communication with any potential heirs about the distribution of assets. This can help avoid conflicts and ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the inheritance.

Below is a table highlighting the different types of inheritance laws in the United States:

State Inheritance Tax Intestate Succession
Alabama No Spouse and children receive entire estate
Alaska No Spouse and children receive entire estate
Arizona No Spouse receives half, children receive half
Arkansas No Spouse and children receive entire estate
California No Spouse and children receive entire estate

It’s important to note that laws can change, and this table should be used as a reference only. Consulting with a legal professional is the best way to ensure that you are fully informed about the inheritance laws in your state.

Federal and State Laws on Inheritance

When it comes to inheritance, there are various federal and state laws that come into play. These laws dictate the rules and regulations surrounding who inherits a deceased person’s assets and how they should be distributed.

  • The federal government has laws that affect inheritance taxes. The estate tax is a federal tax on the transfer of wealth upon a person’s death. As of 2021, the estate tax only applies to estates valued at $11.7 million or more.
  • State laws, on the other hand, vary depending on the state. Some states have their own inheritance taxes, while others do not. The majority of states in the US do not have an inheritance tax.
  • Another way that state laws affect inheritance is through the process of probate. Probate is the legal process by which a court oversees the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. The rules and procedures for probate vary by state, and this can have a significant impact on who inherits assets and how they are distributed.

Intestate Succession

If a person dies without a will, their estate will be subject to the laws of intestate succession. These laws vary by state and dictate who inherits the deceased person’s assets in the absence of any clear instructions from the deceased.

Typically, intestate succession laws prioritize close family members, such as a spouse, children, parents, and siblings. If there are no living relatives, the assets may be given to the state.

Community Property States

There are nine states in the US that have community property laws: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. These states have unique laws governing inheritance, as they consider all property acquired during the marriage to be owned equally by both spouses.

In a community property state, when one spouse dies, their share of the community property is typically transferred to the surviving spouse, unless otherwise specified in a will.


Understanding federal and state laws on inheritance is important to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Whether you have a will or not, there are laws in place that dictate who inherits your assets and how they are distributed. It is important to consult with an attorney to understand how these laws apply to your particular situation.

State Inheritance Tax? Probate Process?
Alabama No Formal
Alaska No Informal
Arizona No Informal
Arkansas No Informal
California No Informal
Colorado No Informal
Connecticut No Formal
Delaware No Formal
Florida No Formal

Table: A summary of inheritance tax and probate process by state

Selena’s family members and their relationship to inheritance

Following Selena Quintanilla’s tragic death in 1995, her estate was inherited by her family members. Here’s a breakdown of who received what:

  • Abraham Quintanilla Jr. (father) – As Selena’s closest living relative, Abraham Quintanilla Jr. was named executor of her estate. He received 50% of the estate, as well as an additional 1/6th share due to his role as executor.
  • Suzette Quintanilla (sister) – Suzette received 25% of the estate, as well as an additional 1/6th share due to her role as executor of Selena’s music.
  • A.B. Quintanilla (brother) – A.B. received 25% of the estate.

While the inheritance may seem straightforward, there were some disputes and legal battles among Selena’s family members. In 2002, Abraham Quintanilla Jr. filed a lawsuit against Chris Pérez, Selena’s widower, and two others for attempting to create a tribute album to Selena without his permission. The lawsuit was eventually settled, but it highlights the complexity of dealing with inherited assets.

Despite the disputes, Selena’s family members have continued to honor her legacy and keep her memory alive through various projects and initiatives.

Family Member % of Estate Additional Shares
Abraham Quintanilla Jr. 50% 1/6th as executor
Suzette Quintanilla 25% 1/6th as executor of Selena’s music
A.B. Quintanilla 25% N/A

Source: Los Angeles Times

The Role of Executors in Managing Inheritance

When a person dies, their estate generally goes into probate. During this process, a judge determines the validity of their will and appoints an executor to manage the estate. The executor is responsible for paying any debts owed by the deceased, filing any necessary taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the heirs according to the will or state law.

What Are the Responsibilities of an Executor?

  • Locate and manage the deceased’s assets
  • Notify beneficiaries of their inheritance
  • Pay off the deceased’s debts and taxes
  • Distribute assets according to the will or state law
  • Defend the estate in court if necessary

How Are Executors Chosen?

The executor is usually appointed by the deceased in their will. If the person did not name an executor, the judge will appoint one. The executor can be a family member, friend, attorney, or even a bank or trust company. It is important to choose someone who is trustworthy, organized, and capable of handling the responsibilities of managing an estate.

Are Executors Compensated?

Yes, executors are entitled to a fee for their services, which is usually a percentage of the value of the estate. The amount varies by state and can be negotiated if the executor is a family member or friend.

State Executor Fee
California 4% of the first $100,000, 3% of the next $100,000, 2% of the next $800,000, 1% of the next $9 million, and 0.5% of the next $15 million
New York 5% of the first $100,000, 4% of the next $200,000, 3% of the next $700,000, 2.5% of the next $4 million, and 2% of anything over $5 million
Texas 5% of the estate value

It is important to note that an executor can decline the fee if they wish to do so.

Taxes and Inheritance

When it comes to inheriting money, tax implications are a major concern. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Unless you inherit an incredibly large sum of money, you likely won’t have to worry about paying an inheritance tax. Only six states have inheritance taxes in the United States, and the thresholds for when the tax kicks in can be quite high.
  • However, if you inherit an IRA or other retirement account, you may have to pay taxes on the distributions you take from the account. Depending on the type of account and the deceased person’s age at the time of death, you may be required to take minimum distributions each year and pay taxes on that income.
  • If you inherit property, such as a house or stocks, you may be subject to capital gains taxes if you sell the property for more than its fair market value at the time of inheritance. Keep careful records of the value of the property at the time you inherit it so you can accurately calculate your basis when you sell it.

In addition to tax considerations, there are other financial planning considerations when inheriting money:

  • Work with a financial planner to come up with a plan for how you will use the inheritance. Will you pay off debt, invest it, or use it for a major purchase like a house or car?
  • Consider the impact the inheritance may have on your eligibility for need-based government benefits like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income. A financial planner can help you structure the inheritance in a way that won’t disqualify you from these benefits.
  • Finally, don’t forget to take care of any outstanding debts or obligations the deceased person may have had. Any debts owed by the estate will need to be paid out of the inheritance before you can receive it.

Overall, inheriting money can be both a blessing and a responsibility. Make sure you carefully consider your tax and financial planning options to make the most of your inheritance.

State Inheritance Tax Threshold
Iowa $15,000
Kentucky $1,000
Maryland $0
Nebraska $40,000
New Jersey $0
Pennsylvania $0

Note: Inheritance tax information is accurate as of October 2021. Please consult with a tax professional for the most up-to-date information and advice.

Disputes and controversies over inheritance

When a high-profile celebrity like Selena passes away, it is not uncommon for disputes and controversies to arise over the inheritance of their wealth. Unfortunately, this was the case with Selena’s estate, which was valued at over $10 million. Here are some of the main points of contention:

  • The will: Selena’s will, which was drafted in 1995, named her father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., as the executor of her estate. He was also designated to receive 75% of her estate, with the remaining 25% split between Selena’s sister and brother. This distribution of assets left many fans and critics questioning why Selena’s widower, Chris Perez, was not included.
  • Chris Perez’s claims: Despite not being named in the will, Perez did make claims to Selena’s estate. In his memoir, To Selena, With Love, Perez revealed that he had a verbal agreement with Selena to split their assets evenly in the case of her death. However, because it was not a written agreement, Perez was not entitled to any of Selena’s estate.
  • Yolanda Saldivar: One of the most controversial figures in Selena’s legacy is her former fan club president, Yolanda Saldivar. Saldivar was convicted of murdering Selena in 1995 and was also found to have embezzled money from Selena’s fan club. After Selena’s death, Saldivar filed a lawsuit against Selena’s estate, claiming to be the sole beneficiary. However, the lawsuit was dismissed and Saldivar was not entitled to any portion of Selena’s estate.
  • Irregularities in the probate process: Years after Selena’s death, it was discovered that there were several irregularities in the probate process of her estate. In 2015, Selena’s father was sued by two of Selena’s siblings, who claimed that they were not given their fair share of the estate. One of the main claims was that Selena’s business assets had been undervalued, resulting in a lower inheritance amount for her siblings. The lawsuit was settled in 2017, with the exact terms remaining undisclosed.

Overall, the inheritance of Selena’s wealth and assets was not without controversy and disputes. However, despite the disagreements, her legacy lives on through her music and the Selena Museum in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Who Inherited Selena’s Money?

1. Did Selena leave a will behind?
Yes, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez had a will in which she named her husband, Chris Pérez, as the executor and administrator of her estate.

2. Who are the legal heirs of Selena’s estate?
Under Texas state law, Selena’s legal heirs are her husband, parents, and siblings.

3. Did Chris Pérez receive any portion of Selena’s estate?
Yes, as the executor and administrator of Selena’s estate, Chris Pérez received a portion of her estate, but the exact amount is not disclosed.

4. How much was Selena’s estate worth?
Selena’s estate was worth approximately $5 million at the time of her death.

5. Did Selena’s husband, siblings, or parents fight over her estate?
There were some legal battles between Selena’s husband and her father over the use of her name and likeness for commercial purposes, but overall, there were no major fights over her estate.

6. What happened to Selena’s estate after her family received it?
Selena’s family established the Selena Foundation to honor her memory and provide scholarships to young people in the music and arts industry. They also continued to release her music and merchandise.

Closing: Thanks for Reading

We hope this article has answered your questions about who inherited Selena’s money. Her death was a tragic loss, but her legacy lives on through her music and the Selena Foundation’s work. Thanks for reading and please visit us again for more interesting articles.