Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Art Sales at a Global Low

Art salesAfter the recession, art collectors were splurging at an all time high, but now art lovers are increasingly content with buying cheaper pieces. Christie’s International, the famous London-based auction house, reported that its sales were down a third from the year before at $3 billion. Only 29 artworks in this period sold for over $6.5 million compared to 47 the year before. Without the large purchases of hungry art collectors, the auction house has shifted their approach to put established artists, whose painting do not always get top dollar, into the spotlight. It has paid off! This along with the persuasion to bid online has really helped to rebuild the industry.

See Kelly Crow, Art Sales Suffer Global Slump, Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2016.

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

July 21, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

HSBC Report on Saving for Retirement

Retirement savingsA report by HSBC Group reveals that Americans prepping for retirement expect to save seven years longer than current retirees. However, almost 44% of those surveyed wished they started saving earlier while 33% state they should have put aside a greater share of income. Additionally, these Americans are working on average five years longer than their global counterparts and rely less on their children for support in retirement. HSBC’s research has also identified ways that can help people improve their financial well-being for retirement, including considering all your retirement expenses, saving earlier, seeking professional advice, and expecting the unexpected. 

See The Retirement Countdown: Americans Are Now Planning to Save Seven Years Longer for Retirement, Business Wire, July 18, 2016.

Special thanks to Kevin Walters (Hill + Knowlton Strategies) for bringing this article to my attention.  

July 20, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gun Trust Loophole Shut Down

Gun trustsBefore last Wednesday, gun trusts were used to circumvent the need for individuals to get sign-off from their local police chief to buy firearms. Now, individuals must follow the same identification and background check requirements that apply to first-time firearm purchasers. There are new requirements for the settlor of a trust making a firearm transfer, such as filing new forms, submitting photographs, and fingerprinting. The new rules say that no sign-off is needed, but all applications will be forwarded to the chief law enforcement, while gun trusts require notification.

See Ashlea Ebeling, Gun Trust Loophole Closed, Background Checks for All, Forbes, July 13, 2016.

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

July 17, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Bowie Art Collection Set for Auction

BowieDavid Bowie’s $13.3 million art collection, containing 380 pieces, is set to go up for auction in November. The main piece, entitled Air Power by Jean-Michael Basquiat, is estimated to fetch $4.7 million, which Bowie originally purchased for $120,122. Bowie began collecting modern British art but later turned to contemporary art. His collection will be toured to view before the auction in London.

See Lacey Kessler, David Bowie’s Private Art Collection Goes to Auction, Trust Advisor, July 14, 2016.

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

July 15, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Voucher Program to Change Organ Transplant Waitlist

Organ transplantAt least ten U.S. hospitals are set to introduce a new voucher program that will allow relatives to preemptively donate their kidneys to loved ones. UCLA is aiming to revolutionize the organ transplant system while saving lives. The program allows transplant patients nearing dialysis to redeem a kidney gift certificate that a friend or family previously donated. Hopefully, this voucher program will change organ donation in the U.S. forever.

See Voucher Program May Reduce Organ Transplant Waitlist, Save Lives, Fox News, July 14, 2016.

July 15, 2016 in Current Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Not Everyone Will Get Their Prize on the Tesla Model 3 Waitlist

Tesla model 3The Tesla Model 3 has a waiting list of over 300,000 people and at least one of them will die before receiving their dream car. As of 2013, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s statistics show that there were approximately 821 deaths per 100,000 people, and the new Tesla model is not scheduled to ship until late 2017. Each person on the waitlist put down a $1,000 refundable deposit and signed a contract that blocks transfers to another buyer. Perhaps, some of these future Tesla owners thought ahead and listed their reservation in their will, but you cannot bequeath a right or property you do not own. The contract signed by these future owners also explicitly states that the reservation is not transferable or assignable without written approval from Tesla. So far there are no known deaths on this Tesla waitlist.

See Polly Mosendz, What Happens When You Die Waiting for a Tesla?, Bloomberg, July 13, 2016.

Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) & Gordon Fowler (Attorney, Atlanta, Georgia) for bringing this Article to my attention.

July 14, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Alicia Corning Clark's $17.5 Million Estate Searches for Possible JFK Love Child

JFKThe administrator of Alicia Corning Clark’s $17.5 million estate filed a Freedom of Information Act request to determine if Clark had President John F. Kennedy’s love child. This request comes at the fiduciary requirement that the administrator find all unknown heirs to be represented in future court proceedings. Several years of speculation over Clark’s relationship with President Kennedy has generated many theories about their relationship and possible love child. One story says that Clark tried to blackmail the Kennedys for money after her relationship with the President was set to be ousted to the public. As the search continues, Clark’s estate garners much attention and currently remains in a legal battle.

See James Fanelli, Lawyers for Socialite’s $17.5M Estate on Hunt for Possible JFK Love Child, dna info, July 11, 2016.

Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 14, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 11, 2016

B.B King's Estate Sued for Album Cover Photo

Bb king estateA photographer is claiming in a new lawsuit that B.B. King and Universal Music Group used a series of photos he took for various album covers. The images were used on B.B. King’s albums, dating all the way back to 1971. The photographer is suing B.B. King’s estate and Universal for a portion of the profits they made off the albums.

See B.B. King Photog Tells Estate SNAP, YOU’RE SUED, TMZ, July 11, 2016.

July 11, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on the Effects of Obergefell v. Hodges in Estate Planning

Same-sex marriage in texasGerry W. Beyer recently published an Article entitled, Estate Planning Ramifications of Obergefell v. Hodges, Estate Planning Developments for Texas Professionals (2016). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

One year ago, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges holding that “same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry.” Since then, an estimated 123,000 same-sex marriages have occurred bringing the total number of same-sex marriages in the United States to almost one-half million. The number of Texas same-sex marriages will be difficult to track because the government does not plan on keeping a separate count of same-sex marriage licenses. Nonetheless, with over three percent of Texans identifying themselves as gay or lesbian, it is of vital importance for estate planners to understand the current and potential future impact of same-sex marriage on estate planning in Texas.

July 11, 2016 in Articles, Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, New Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Estate Battle Continues

Martin luther king nobel prizeA judge refused to rule on the dispute over two items, a bible and Nobel Peace Prize, in Martin Luther King Jr.’s estate, putting the issue off until trial. Dr. King’s estate is not a probate estate but a for-profit estate where his three children control his name, image, likeness, and possessions. The current controversy revolves around an agreement that all of Dr. King’s personal property would be returned to the estate, but no personal property was ever listed. This confusion could have been muted with a well-planned estate that detailed all of the estate’s property and did not leave management of the estate in the hands of three different personalities.

See Ettinger Law Firm, Family Feud Forever: Dr. King’s Family Squabbles Continue, New York Estate Planning Attorney Blog, June 19, 2016.

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

July 7, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)