Friday, March 7, 2014
An Effingham County State Court jury awarded $4 million to a Maryland man, the largest verdict in the Georgia court’s history.
Steve Patrick of Baltimore was named as executor and primary beneficiary of his aunt’s estate. Patrick took over for his aunt’s care in 2009 after his brother, Charles, was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography. After some digging, Patrick realized that the $1 million in his aunt’s brokerage account had been depleted by Charles and his wife. The jury awarded $1 million in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages.
See DeAnn Komanecky, Effingham Jury Awards $4M in Case of Aging Aunt’s Missing Million, Savannah Morning News, March 6, 2014.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
As I have previously discussed, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway decided not to appeal a federal judge’s order to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will instead be hiring outside attorneys to appeal the decision granting legal recognition to same-sex couples married out-of-state. Beshear believes the potential for “legal chaos is real” if a delay is not issued while the case is being appealed. Beshear says, “Other Kentucky courts may reach different and conflicting decisions. Employers, health care providers, governmental agencies and others faced with changing rules need a clear and certain roadmap. Also, people may take action based on this decision only to be placed at a disadvantage should a higher court reverse the decision.”
See The Associated Press, Ky. to Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, Cincinnati.com, March 5, 2014.
Special thanks to Edward J. Buechel (Raines, Buechel, Conley & Dusing, P.L.L.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
A California couple was walking on their property when they stumbled upon a rusted, half-buried can. After taking a closer look, the couple found six cans containing 1,427 gold coins with an estimated value of $10 million.
The couple may be stuck with a mere finder’s fee after new information surfaced about the treasure’s likely origins. A historian has linked the coins to an unsolved 1900 gold heist at the San Francisco Mint. The face value of $27,000 and the fact that these coins are in chronological order add credence to the coins being the result of the heist.
See Ashlee Kieler, Couple’s $10M Gold Coin Find Could Be from 1900 San Francisco Mint Heist, Consumerist, March 4, 2014.
Special thanks to Kristen Vander-Plas (2016 Candidate for Doctorate of Jurisprudence, Texas Tech University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.
As I have previously discussed, the three adult children of late celebrity photographer Bert Stern, who is famous for snapping provocative photos of Marilyn Monroe, are currently locked in an estate battle with his young widow over his $10 million fortune.
The kids are now trying to introduce Stern’s psychiatry records to shed light on the 83-year-old Stern’s mysterious secret marriage to the 44-year-old Shannah Laumeister. Laumeister claims the records could damage Stern’s reputation and the value of his estate.
See Josh Saul, Fight Over Marilyn Monroe Photog’s Estate Takes Ugly Turn, New York Post, March 4, 2014.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway will not be appealing a federal judge’s order to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.
Conway said, “From a constitutional perspective, Judge Heyburn got it right.” Conway also said that he prayed about his decision and decided to do what he thought was right. His decision means Kentucky same-sex couples married out-of-state will now be allowed to file joint tax returns, pursue name changes, and have names added to birth certificates.
See Mark Memmott, Kentucky Won’t Appeal Order to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages, NPR, March 4, 2014.
Special thanks to Laura Galvan (Attorney, San Antonio, Texas) for bringing this article to my attention.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
A village in the Netherlands has been created just for patients with dementia.
“Hogeweyk” looks like any other village with restaurants, supermarkets, gardens, and a pedestrian boulevard. Unlike most villages, security gates and fences surround the village, and health care professionals walk throughout the village in street clothes.
Many of those involved with this project have declared it a success, and similar towns are being planned around the world.
See Stuart Clark, Village in Holland Created Just for Patients with Dementia, Toronto Estate Law Blog, Feb. 28, 2014.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Kent Adonai, Lord Glenconner’s valet and carer for 30 years, inherited Glenconner’s £30 million fortune instead of 20-year-old grandson Cody Tennant.
Tennant, who became the fourth Baron Glenconner, was set to inherit the family estate until Lord Glenconner rewrote his will seven months before his death in 2010 at the age of 83. Glenconner’s widow, Lady Anne, was also shocked to learn she had been left out of the will.
Adonai inherited Lord Glenconner’s Indian-style mansion, art, jewelry, and 192 acres of shorefront development land. As part of a settlement, Adonai has agreed to share the sought-after Caribbean property with Tennant, which could potentially make him a multi-millionaire. Although the grounds of the will contest were not revealed, ambiguous language in the will, or the fact that Glenconner had been battling cancer, may have led Adonai to settle.
See Sharon Churcher & Colin Maximin, Manservant Who Was Left £30m by Lord Glenconner WILL Share It with Peer’s Grandson, Daily Mail, March 1, 2014.
Herbert Sukenik was recently paid $17 million to move out of his rented apartment on the top floor of New York’s Mayflower Hotel.
The 73-year-old was one of four reclusive bachelors living in the top floors when the Upper West Side building was bought by developers. While the other three bachelors were relocated rather easily, Sukenik stayed in the building for two years before negotiating the $17 million payout as well as a replacement home worth $2 million.
See Hermit Paid $17M to Leave New York Hotel, Descrier, March 2, 2014.
Walter Williams is back from the dead.
After mistakenly believing he had died, Willams’ family called the coroner to his Mississippi home. The coroner said Williams had no pulse and pronounced him dead.
The next day, workers at a funeral home were preparing to embalm Williams when he started to kick inside the body bag. The coroner believes his pacemaker stopped working and then started again. Williams, a farmer, is happy to still be alive.
See Mississippi Funeral Home Finds Man Alive in Body Bag, The Guardian, Feb. 28, 2014.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Introduced in President Obama’s State of the Union address, the MyRA is designed for someone with little to no savings who wants to do something simple. But are investors better off not using the savings tool at all?
First, the basics. Anyone making less than $129,000 a year can contribute ($191,000 for couples). It costs $25 to open an account and a $5 minimum contribution per paycheck. The money can be rolled into a Roth IRA after 30 years or when the balance reaches $15,000. The money is invested in the Government Securities Investment Fund (G Fund).
The President touted that money can never be lost in the MyRA. This is because consumers are forced to invest in the G Fund. The 2012 rates of return for the G Fund are 1.47% (1-year), 2.24% (3-year), 2.69% (5-year), and 3.61% (10-year). With these modest rates of return, are investors better off taking their money home, paying taxes on it, and investing it in places expected to generate significantly higher returns?
See Roccy DeFrancesco, Why Obama’s MyRA Is Useless, Asset Protection Society.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.