Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Monday, July 6, 2015

Brother Of Deceased Liquor Magnate Denied Right To See Trust Documents

New ZealandA New Zealand judge has denied a request to examine trust records by the brother of late liquor king Michael Erceg. The dispute centers on a lack of distributions made to the brother from two trust that were set up after the tragic death of Erceg in a aviation accident. Family members have been battling over the massive estate for ten years with a recent case involving Erceg's mother recently concluding. The judge cited confidentiality for the reason the documents will remain sealed.

 

See Hamish Fletcher, Judge denies look at Erceg documents, New Zealand Herald, May 25, 2015.

 

Special thanks to Jim Hartnett for bringing this article to my attention.

 

July 6, 2015 in Current Events, New Cases, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Conservatives Plan To Lower U.K. Inheritance Tax For Homes

Royal_Coat_of_Arms_of_the_United_Kingdom_(HM_Government)_svgThe Chancellor of the Exchequer, the British version of a Treasury Secretary, has announced changes to the inheritance tax threshold when it comes to family housing. The current amount needed to trigger the tax is £650,000 for a married couple but the new rules will allow for a £175,000 allowance to each spouse when a primary residence is being inherited. This change was proposed in the previous parliament but was blocked by the Liberal-Democrats who were, at the time, in coalition with the Tories.

See Svenja O'Donnell & Angelina Rascouet, Osborne Plans to Raise Inheritance Tax Threshold in Budget, Bloomberg, July 3, 2015.

July 6, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Estate Tax, New Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Stock Certificate Find Reopens Estate Of Legendary Lawman

Article PictureThe estate of legendary prohibition enforcer Elliot Ness has been reopened after the find of a stock certificate in a forgotten box of personal effects. The stock is in the security company Diebold and could be worth thousands of shares after decades of splits. However, Diebold denies the validity of the certificate stating no record exist that any stock was issued to Ness even though he was a director of the company. In any case, it wont be any close relations of the lawman that might gain from the discovery, the heirs are cousins of his third wife and can be heard laughing two counties in every direction.

See Heirs of famed Prohibition agent find lost stock certificate that could net $1m, The Guardian, July 3, 2015.

July 5, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tutu Trust Shut Down After Battle Over Control

Article PictureThe daughter of legendary religious and civil rights leader Desmond Tutu sought control of a trust set up in in her father's name but lost when the trust was revoked. Former board members voiced regret over the trust ending but stated that there was no other choice based on the daughter's behavior. Unfortunately, this is not the only incident involving members of the Tutu family of late, a granddaughter was reported to the police after alleged damage to family property. A spokesman for the family said that Tutu hope the matter may be put behind everyone.

See Stephanie Findlay, Desmond Tutu's daughter 'tried to hijack one of his trusts', The Telegraph, May 31, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hartnett for bringing this article to my attention.

July 5, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Brevity Is The Soul Of... An Obituary?

Article PictureA man in Fargo, North Dakota had a strange request for his eventual death, he only wanted a two word obituary that said "Doug died." The man felt that going on about where you work, and the like, after death was unnecessary. But he seems to have only gotten part of his wish; while his obituary was appropriately brief, the newspaper wrote a separate article that ran several hundred words and essentially acted as the last ode to the gentleman's life.

See Kate Seamons, Fargo Man Sums It All Up in 2-Word Obit, Newser, July 2, 2015.

 

July 3, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events | Permalink | Comments (1)

Estate Of Legendary Musician Nina Simone Faces Sony In Court

Article PictureAfter years of legal wrangling the estate of Nina Simone is heading back to court after a settlement with Sony fell through. The controversy revolves around the rights Ms. Simone's music being sold online to iTunes, Amazon, and other digital music services. Sony acquired the rights after buying the original distributor and has been fighting the estate for a long while. No trial date has yet been set.

See Ann Brown, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood: Nina Simone’s Heirs In Another Legal Battle With Sony, Madame Noire, May 22, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hartnett for bringing this article to my attention.

July 3, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Legal Secretary Pleads Guilty To Stealing From Estates

HandcuffsAn Ohio legal secretary has pled guilty to stealing over $100,000 from several estates who's cases were being handled by her employer. The prosecution has recommended a two year sentence but the judge has not yet issued the penalties to be imposed. She might also face years of post release supervision.

See, Ex-legal secretary admits estate thefts, WHIO, June 29, 2015.

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

July 1, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Court Ends Conservatorship Of Zsa Zsa Gabor

Article PictureA Los Angeles County judge has ended the conservatorship of Zsa Zsa Gabor by her husband, Prince Von Anhalt, following the death of Gabor's daughter who originally brought suit. In the past, there were mutual accusations between Anhalt and the daughter that each was stealing from Gabor's estate which lead to a bitter feud and several court filings. The estate appears to consist largely of a Bel-Air mansion that is scheduled to be sold in September 2018 in order to allow the actress, who has suffered from severe health complications recently, to likely die in her own home.

See Colleen Park, Judge ends Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband’s conservatorship, My News LA, June 4, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hartnett for bringing this article to my attention.

June 30, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hepburn Heirs Continue Estate Battle 20 Years After Mother's Death

Article PictureThe two sons of legendary actress Audrey Hepburn have been reported to be battling each other other a storage unit full of their late mothers personal belongings. The two sons were born ten years apart and from different fathers and have a history of disagreement. A judge is expected to divide the items as they were not specifically covered in the will.

See Derrick Bryson Taylor, Audrey Hepburn’s kids still fighting over her stuff, New York Post, May 27, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hartnett for bringing this article to my attention.

June 29, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Broadway Production Sued Over Alleged Copyright Violation

Article PictureThe estates of comedy duo Abbot and Costello are suing a Broadway production for alleged copyright infringement. The play is accused of using material from the famed "Who's On First" baseball routine that eventually got the pair into the MLB Hall of Fame. No court date has yet been set.

SeeNana Sidibe, Abbott & Costello's heirs sue play for use of 'Who's on First?', CNBC, June 5, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hartnett for bringing this article to my attention.

June 28, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)