TrustAdvisor, in “Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Dynastic Deaths Give Offspring Legacies and Millions to Inherit Overnight,” points out that Carrie had formal next of kin, her daughter Billie Lourd. She will inherit the house, money, and presumably her mom’s French bulldog, despite the fact the Star Wars actress didn’t have a valid will (How many times have you heard about big star with no will? Lots!).
Billie is almost certainly Carrie’s primary heir, and the value of her mom’s estate is increasing: the market price of everything associated with the Star Wars princess has tripled after her death. This is similar to what happened with other creative people and “collectible” celebrities like Prince and David Bowie.
Carrie owned a $14 million Los Angeles property filled with memorabilia, so whatever the family doesn’t want as a keepsake might bring big money in an auction. But she didn’t cash in on her Star Wars merchandising rights the way many stars do. She signed her Princess Leia image away to Lucasfilm at the beginning of the series. As a result, Disney owns it now for use in CGI “appearances” like the recent $440 million Rogue One. If they make money by putting that likeness on merchandise, it will keep the character “alive” well after her death. In essence, Disney wouldn’t be obligated to her estate for anything more than a gratuity for redubbing a few lines.
But Disney and Lucasfilm wanted a more mature Princess Leia for future films, and Carrie reportedly received several million to appear in the last one. Disney also had a $50 million life insurance policy to protect itself from having to rewrite the story around a dead star.
Counting Carrie’s house and the pay from the recent movie, it’s estimated that she might have left $25 million in assets. She also owns 0.0025% of the profit on the original Star Wars, which means that for every $1 million a year it grosses from here on out, her estate receives $200 a month in perpetuity. That quarter point may have already earned her $9 million on the film in her lifetime.
Reference: TrustAdvisor (January 3, 2017) “Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Dynastic Deaths Give Offspring Legacies and Millions to Inherit Overnight”