Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Report: Aaron Hernandez May Have Hidden Money in Trust Before His Death

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-02/30b11aa9-4eba-48f6-b1ad-f515f150f6b0.pngFormer New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested in 2013 for the murder of Odin Lloyd. He committed suicide in April of the same year while serving a life sentence for the crime. When the Patriots released Hernandez from his contract after these issues arose, they had paid him nearly $9 million out of the $40 million deal. In spite of this substantial income, Hernandez’s estate is likely insolvent, with nearly $3 million in liabilities and a scant $1.2 million declared in assets. Hernandez was thoughtful and prescient enough to create a trust for his daughter before his death. If the trust is upheld by the court, which is doubtful, it would be shielded from Hernandez’s creditors and could provide his daughter with some income and support.

See Shalise Manza Young, Report: Aaron Hernandez May Have Hidden Money in Trust Before His Death, Yahoo! Sports, November 29, 2017.

December 3, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Earl of Balfour: My Daughter Can Change Gender to Inherit My Title

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-01/d32c9a41-1b42-4e7b-9c66-906106e1cc6d.pngThe current laws of primogeniture dictate that the Balfour title must pass to a male heir. For the Fifth Earl of Balfour, this means his title would necessarily pass to his younger brother. This forced line of succession skips over the Earl’s four daughters entirely. The current Earl believes he may have found a loophole and solution to this centuries-old problem. If his eldest daughter declares herself a man, then the title can pass to her and stay in the Earl’s directly-descended family.

See Harry Yorke, Earl of Balfour: My Daughter Can Change Gender to Inherit My Title, The Telegraph, November 29, 2017.

Special thanks to Eric Chiappinelli for bringing this article to my attention.

December 1, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Key Individual Provisions and Differences Between the House and Senate Versions of the Proposed Tax Legislation

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-11-30/bf935e30-694b-4887-a951-fee29b9e8722.pngThe contentious proposed tax changes trudging through the House and Senate seem as though they are likely to pass in some mutilated form or another. The legislative process has changed the bill in some substantial parts while leaving other aspects relatively untouched. The Senate Finance Committee’s (SFC) version of the bill retains seven tax brackets with rates scheduled to sunset after 2025. Both the House and SFC aim to repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), but the SFC’s version sunsets this provision after January 2026.

See Key Individual Provisions, Venable, LLP.

December 1, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, New Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Charles Manson’s Pen Pal Files the Killers Last Will and Testament in Court After Saying ‘He’ll Go into the Ring’ If Anyone Challenges the Document

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-01/6e3fc85b-8059-4d4c-88d9-d65404d1e00c.pngMichael Channels was recently revealed as the anonymous pen pal to whom Charles Manson gave his will. Channels starting writing to Manson in the ‘90s and finally received a response in 1997. Channels visited with Manson in prison five years later. The 2002 meeting went well enough that Manson drafted a will naming Channels as the sole beneficiary to his estate. There are estimates valuing Manson’s estate in the millions of dollars after accounting for his music rights, artwork, and various memorabilia. Channels, apparently a fan of the cult leader, has a secret shrine dedicated to him and touts himself as an expert on Manson and the Manson family. Channels has said that he is prepared to fight anyone who wants to challenge his claims.

See Abigail Miller, Charles Manson’s Pen Pal Files the Killers Last Will and Testament in Court After Saying ‘He’ll Go into the Ring’ If Anyone Challenges the Document, DailyMail.com, November 28, 2017.

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

November 30, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Charles Manson's Pen Pal, Grandson Battle For His Body

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-11-30/da1dd49c-8a09-4a9d-b19a-312fbaed4bd8.pngJason Freeman, who claims to be Charles Manson’s grandson, and longtime pen pal Michael Channels are both in the process of attempting to claim Manson’s body. Channels’s wishes may take precedent over Freeman’s, as Channels actually has Manson’s original will. As of now, Channels has informed the Sheriff that he is the executor of Manson’s estate and has already filed the will in probate court.

See Charles Manson's Pen Pal, Grandson Battle For His Body, TMZ, November 29, 2017.

November 30, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Kylie Jenner Starter Home Sold for Modest Profit

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-11-29/e83ad987-b42a-43c8-8fe5-09eb3d7bfaaa.pngKylie Jenner is parting ways with her 5,100 sq. ft. Calabasas starter-home. Jenner bought the residence in 2015 for $2.6 million and quickly began substantial renovations. She initially listed the house for $3.3 million, but ended up selling it for $3.15 million to Nikki Eslami, founder of Bellami Hair.

See Kylie Jenner Starter Home Sold for Modest Profit, TMZ, July 21, 2017.

November 29, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Battle Erupts over Control of Charles Manson Estate

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-11-28/3d89f75c-5e06-44a0-b9c9-2b5ab8ea84ac.pngThere are now two individuals claiming a right to Charles Manson’s estate. A few days ago, TMZ reported that Manson’s pen pal, who preferred to remain anonymous, was in possession of a handwritten and typed will that named him the sole beneficiary to all of Manson’s worldly possessions. Contrary to the TMZ story, the New York Daily News recently reported that Ben Gureki, one of Manson’s friends, delivered a will to Matthew Roberts naming Roberts the sole beneficiary of Manson’s estate. Roberts’s mother told him in 1998 that Manson was his father. Gureki claimed that he and Roberts are going to take care of the situation:  “Matthew and I will be there next week in person. Charlie will be given a headstone, a proper burial where people will be able to grieve, or deface it as they see fit.”

See Kathleen Joyce, Battle Erupts over Control of Charles Manson Estate, Fox News, November 25, 2017.

November 28, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Charles Manson Will Surfaces: Pen Pal Gets Everything

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-11-25/b5974ed6-cc27-4d84-8068-ab56b3d8ed23.pngCharles Manson left the whole of his estate to a pen pal who started writing to Manson in the ‘90s. The individual, who prefers to remain anonymous, wrote over fifty letters to the cult leader before Manson finally replied in 1997. The pair struck up a friendship and the pen pal eventually visited Manson in prison for the first time in 2002. This was the year that Manson penned his will leaving everything, including cash, image rights, and clothing, to the pen pal.

See Charles Manson Will Surfaces: Pen Pal Gets Everything, TMZ, November 24, 2017.

See Chris SpargoCharles Manson Will: Infamous Cult Leader Leaves Entire Estate and Rights To His Likeness To a Pen Pal While Disinheriting His Family and Friends, DailyMail.com, November 24, 2017.

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

 

November 27, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

The North Carolina Uniform Power of Attorney Act: A Practical Introduction for Real Estate Practitioners

Welcome-to-north-carolina-nations-most-military-friendly-state-our-557597Most practitioners would agree that dealing with a power of attorney in North Carolina has traditionally been an extremely frustrating experience. Fortunately, Governor Cooper recently signed "An Act to Adopt the Uniform Power of Attorney Act in this State” during the 2017 session. The law will take effect on January 1, 2018. This is a must-read for those who are involved with powers of attorney and real estate law.

See James E. Creekman, The North Carolina Uniform Power of Attorney Act: A Practical Introduction for Real Estate Practitioners, Ward and Smith, P.A., September 6, 2017.

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

November 27, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, New Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Federal Court Sustains Vivian Maier Copyright Claim

11111A federal court in Chicago held that the estate of Vivian Maier may pursue various claims, copyright infringement among them, against Jeffrey Goldstein. Maier died intestate in 2009 with no known heirs. At the time, she had gained no recognition for her photographic works. Goldstein was one of a number of buyers who purchased a number of her prints, negatives, and undeveloped film from a storage locker after her death. He started peddling these works through a website in 2010 and began selling them to galleries by 2012. Goldstein attempted to persuade the court that his purchase of Maier’s works occurred prior to her death, thereby removing it from her estate and providing him a “rightful claim of ownership.” The court did not buy Goldstein’s pre-death-purchase argument and said that the timing of his acquisition of the works was irrelevant anyway. The date for trial has not yet been set.

See David Walker, Federal Court Sustains Vivian Maier Copyright Claim, PDN Pulse, November 21, 2017.

Special thanks to Victor Salas for bringing this article to my attention.

November 23, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)