Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bobbi Kristina Brown Off Life Support, Awake

Bobbi Kristina BrownBobbi Kristina Brown, who has been on life support since being found unresponsive in her bathtub on January 31,  has woken up and is off life support according to family members. The news came from a Facebook post by her aunt yesterday, and a recent announcement made by her father Bobby Brown during a concert in Texas.

See Janelle Griffith, Bobbi Kristina Brown is 'Awake,' No Longer on Life Support, Aunt Says, NJ, Apr. 20, 2015.

 

April 20, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Estate of Texas Millionaire Hit with Multi-Billion Dollar Tax Bill

Charles WylyThe estate of Dallas millionaire Charles Wyly has been assessed a $2 billion claim on back taxes by the IRS. The controversy arises over the income from a series of trust set up by Mr. Wyly in the well-known tax shelter the Isle of Man in the early 90’s. The Service claims the trust illegally hid income from 1992-2010 with most of the back taxes coming from interest and penalties. Sam Wyly, Charles’ brother, plans to fight the bill in Bankruptcy Court in order to reach global settlement agreement for a reduction in the amount owed.

See Mark Curriden, IRS Hits Sam Wyly, Late Brother's Estate with $3 Billion Tax Bill, Dallas Morning News, Apr 16, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

April 17, 2015 in Current Events, Income Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Portion of Nazi Looted Monet Sale to go to Heirs for Restitution

Haystacks at GivernyThe Monet painting Haystacks at Giverny was owned by French Jewish art dealer Rene Gimpel during World War II. Gimpel died in a concentration camp. The painting was sold by Gimpel under duress according to his grandson. The painting is now owned by a private Swiss art collector and will be sold at auction in May. Its estimated value is up to $18 million. Gimpel's heirs will receive a portion of the sale per the terms of a restitution agreement.

See JTA, Jewish Heirs Get Slice of $18M From Looted Monet 'Haystacks', Forward, Apr. 10, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

April 13, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Estate Administration | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Average Rates for Nursing Homes Rise Nationwide

Wheel ChairNursing home expenses continue to rise with the nationwide average increasing to $91,250 per year for private and just over $80,000 for semi private rooms. However, not all parts of the country carry the burden equally with the difference between the highest and lowest cost states being $220,000. As prices are expected to rise indefinitely, estate planners should be careful to take this potentially massive expense into consideration.

See Cost of Private Nursing Home Room Now Averaging $91,250, Elder Law Answers, Apr. 10, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

April 12, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Elder Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

World's Oldest Person Passes Away

Misao OkawaToday Misao Okawa passed away, just three weeks after celebrating her 117th birthday.  Okawa was the world’s oldest person, and ironically described her life as “rather short.”  The Japanese woman died of heart failure according to an official at her nursing home.  “She went so peacefully, as if she had just fallen asleep.  We miss her a lot.” 

Since Okawa’s death, the world’s oldest person is now Gertrude Weaver from Arkansas.  Weaver was born in 1898 and will turn 117 on July 4th

See Jessica Durando, The World’s Oldest Person Dies at 117, USA Today, Apr. 1, 2015.

Special thanks to Adam Hirsch (University of San Diego School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention. 

April 1, 2015 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kidney Catastrophe

 

MalpracticeIn 2013, Christine Clark underwent months of testing so that she could donate her kidney to a longtime friend with end-stage renal disease.  On July 2, 2013, almost an hour after doctors removed Clark’s kidney, they put her friend under anesthesia to receive the transplant.  Her friend had been under anesthesia for two hours when the hospital canceled the surgery.  Clark says doctors stopped the transplant because she had tested positive for hepatitis C. 

Clark and her husband subsequently filed a complaint in the Dauphin County Court of the Common Pleas, claiming the failure to perform the correct test in time “caused catastrophic consequences.”  The complaint further stated, “had appropriate protocols been established and/or followed, the intended recipient would have received plaintiff’s harvested kidney . . . Instead, they purportedly donated the kidney to a hepatitis C-positive patient at a different facility and obtained financial gain and prestige for said transplant.”

Having never received an explanation from the hospital about the failure of the transplant, Clark says the loss of her kidney has left her with various injuries including low blood pressure, nerve damage, scarring and humiliation.  She and her husband are seeking punitive damages from the hospital, Central Pennsylvania Transplant Foundation Inc., and its doctors and nurses for negligence, misrepresentation, and battery. 

See Lana Morelli, Kidney Donor Says Surgery Was a Disaster, Courthouse News Service, March 24, 2015.

March 25, 2015 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Malpractice, Professional Responsibility | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Large South African Estate Faces Complicated Estate Process After Brutal Murders

Gavel BWThe two surviving children of a couple murdered at their South African home in January may inherit a large portion of the R200 million estate. The children, Marli van Breda, 16, and Henri van Breda, 20, lost their parents and older brother in a violent attack in the family's home. Marli survived the attack though she was badly injured and left for dead, and is currently being guarded by police while she recovers in a rehabilitation center. Henri is living with his uncle, who was appointed as guardian of both children. A criminal defense team has been organized for Henri, who called for help on the night of the murders over three hours after the attacks, and said that an intruder armed with an axe attacked him and his family.

Due to the complicated nature of the tragic situation and depending on the outcome of the investigation, wrapping up the estate could take years. The length of time will depend on whether an heir is arrested for the murders, which postpones the process until the case is resolved. Though suspicion of a potential arrest in the future does not postpone the process.

See Shanaaz Eggington, Axe-Murder Kids in Line to Inherit R200m Estate, Press Reader, March 15, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this case to my attention.

March 18, 2015 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Google CFO Retires

Google_web_searchGoogle CFO Patrick Pichette recently announced that he will be taking an early retirement at the age of 52, after seven years with the renowned company known for its search engine. Pichette was inspired while on a trip with his wife and viewing the beauty of a sunrise on Mount Kilimanjaro  to retire, which he describes as a "perfectly fine mid life crisis full of bliss and beauty." With his children out of the house pursuing their own endeavors, Pichette plans to spend his time traveling with his wife. Travel locations planned include Antarctica and Mount Everest.

See Alyssa Newcomb, Google CFO Patrick Pichette's Goodbye Note Will Make You Dream of Quitting Your Job, ABC News, March 11, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

March 13, 2015 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Benson Family Feud

Gavel BWAs I have previously discussed, Tom Benson, owner of two New Orleans sports teams, is battling challenges against his mental competence and ability to run his business. The challenges come from his daughter, Renee Benson, and two grandchildren. The dispute centers on deeply personal issues with each side stating a contrasting view of their motivations. Renee and her children expressed in their filings that their case was motivated by a desire to protect Benson from the manipulations of his current wife. While Benson has alluded that his daughter and grandchildren were unable to get along with his wife and were creating family strife. The legal battle does not only have deeply personal roots for the Benson family, but also for the teams' fans. The lawsuit is a frequent topic on sports radio and the talk-of-town.

See Ken Belson, A Messy Family Battle for New Orleans Teams, The New York Times, March 6, 2015.

 

March 7, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Disability Planning - Property Management, Elder Law, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 6, 2015

New Suit Alleging Nazis Forced Art Dealers to Sell Artifacts Under Duress

AntiquesA lawsuit seeking return of a collection of artifacts, some dating back over 1,000 years, was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The claims are brought by heirs of Jewish art dealers that claim that in 1935 their ancestors were forced to sell the "Welfenschatz" collection to Nazis under duress and under-valued. The collection's current estimated value is between $225 million and $275 million, and was recently designated as a national cultural asset by the German government.

See Leila Boulton, Germany Sued Over Medieval Artifacts Sold to Nazis, Private Wealth, March 3, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.

March 6, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Estate Administration | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)