Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Did Carrie Fisher Predict Her Own Death?

Fisher bluntSinger James Blunt made a chilling discovery while he was staying at Carrie Fisher’s home to record his debut “Back to Bedlam” album. Placed outside the room he was staying in, Blunt claims that Fisher had a Princess Leia cardboard cutout on which she wrote her date of birth and date of death on her forehead. Although he does not remember the exact date, it was somewhere around the time that she actually passed. After seeing the Fisher’s predicted lifespan, Blunt remembers thinking it was way too soon.  

See Siofra Brennan, Carrie Fisher Chillingly Predicted She Wouldn’t Be Alive in February 2017 by Writing Her Date of Death on a Cutout of Princess Leia She Kept at Her LA Home, Daily Mail, February 19, 2017. 


February 19, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Porsche Employee Celebrated Carrera Wrecks Before Paul Walker Death Lawsuit

Paul walkerA Porsche employee has been happily sharing news to fellow employees about the slew of crashes the Porsche Carrera GT has experienced recently, hoping that the news would boost the value of the remaining cars. Paul Walker died in a Porsche Carrera, and his daughter’s wrongful death lawsuit reveals that Porsche concealed emails about the Carrera from them. One email confessed that up to 200 of the 1280 Carreras produced between 2004 and 2006 had been totaled in the first two years after being sold. The Porsche employee then stated that this would be great news for the remaining Carreras as they become more rare. The lawyers for Walker’s daughter are asking a judge to impose sanctions on Porsche for deliberately hiding the emails.  

See Paul Walker Death Lawsuit: Porsche Celebrated Carrera Crashes, TMZ, February 15, 2017. 


February 16, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Film, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Debbie Reynolds's Dance Studio to Open as Museum

Debbie reynolds studioDebbie Reynolds’s Hollywood dance studio, filled with her costume collection and memorabilia, will be turned into a museum. Renovations are underway to make two of the six dance rooms into display rooms, which will house her collection. Some of the items that will be on display include Reynolds’s SAG Life Achievement Award and costumes from “Molly Brown” and “Singin’ in the Rain.” Reynolds originally opened the studio in 1979 with other high-profile names, including Lucille Ball, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Cher. 

See Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio to Become Museum, TMZ, February 13, 2017. 


February 13, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Film, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Judy Garland's Remains Moved from New York to Hollywood

Judy garlandJudy Garland died in 1969, and ever since, she has rested in a mausoleum in Hartsdale, New York. However, last week, her remains were removed from the cemetery and placed on a flight to Los Angeles, California. Garland’s body will be interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in the Beth Olam section, reserved for Jewish people, at the request of her daughter, Liza Minnelli. It is still unclear why Minnelli is ordering the move nearly half a century after her mom’s death.  

See Judy Garland Body Moved from New York Meet Me in Hollywood, TMZ, January 27, 2017. 


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

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mary Tyler Moore Sales Surge After Her Death

MtmJust hours after her death, Mary Tyler Moore’s shows are seeing increased Internet sales. On Wednesday, sales for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” increased more than 23,000% on Amazon and 5,000% for “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” the show Moore got her first big break. In addition, sales for her famous movie, “Ordinary People,” skyrocketed to almost 3,000% on Amazon. Moore’s work is also appearing in the “New and Noteworthy” section on iTunes. Fans are truly paying her a fitting tribute.    

See Mary Tyler Moore Still Making It After All . . . Sales Surge After Death, TMZ, January 25, 2017. 


January 26, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Marilyn Monroe Mausoleum Marker Goes Up for Auction

Monroe markerMarilyn Monroe fans have a rare chance to purchase one of the markers from her final resting place. The bronze marker was removed back in the '80s from Monroe’s mausoleum at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles and now will make its way to the hands of a lucky fan. Heritage Auctions says the opening bid is $10,000, but it expects the memorabilia to bring in significantly more—Monroe’s marker from the '70s sold for $212,500 in 2015. 

See Marilyn Monroe Mausoleum Marker Up for Grabs, TMZ, January 22, 2017. 


January 22, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

Helping Clients Cement Their Family Legacy

Legacy filmsNot only do we want to preserve our family wealth, but most of us also desire to pass on our family history. Acknowledge Media is helping families do just that. The company assists families in producing legacy films, which cement the lives and thoughts of older generations for younger family members to appreciate. The legacy films are based on interviews with both individual family members and couples and supplemented with family pictures. These films help younger generations understand their family tree and provide a comprehensive plan that expresses various planning assets for the future prosperity and security of the family. The goal of the company is to provide the tools and services that help celebrate the unique aspects of legacy. 

See Karen Demasters, Advisor Collaborates with Firm to Save Clients’ Family History on Film, Financial Advisor, January 17, 2017. 


January 22, 2017 in Estate Planning - Generally, Film, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Princess Leia Will Not Be Digitally Recreated Posthumous

Princess leiaRest assured Star Wars fans, Lucasfilm, the movie’s production company, claims it has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s character, Princess Leia, in upcoming films. This announcement comes shortly after several celebrities became worried about their posthumous portrayals. Further, the company insists that it will always strive to honor Fisher’s legacy and in doing so will not use digital effects.   

See Carrie Fisher: Princess Leia Will Not Go Digital . . . Lucasfilm Promises, TMZ, January 13, 2017. 


January 15, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Film, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds Were Split over Cremation

Fisher and reynoldsIt appears that Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds had different ideas for their burial. Their family has already carried out Fisher’s wishes by cremating her, which she specified in her will. Reynolds, on the other hand, wished to be buried and specifically stated that she did not want to be cremated. However, as a compromise, a portion of Fisher’s ashes will be placed in a coffin and buried alongside her mother at Forest Law in Burbank. 

See Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds Split over Cremation, TMZ, January 4, 2017. 


January 5, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Digital Resurrection Has Stars Trying to Control Their Posthumous Portrayal

Posthumous portrayalAfter Carrie Fisher’s death, much speculation remains over how her character will be portrayed in future, unproduced Star Wars films. Today, filmmakers are using digital technology to resurrect characters after that have passed, but this is leaving actors eager to gain control over how their characters and images are posthumously portrayed. Understanding that their legacy will continue beyond life, stars are making plans to protect their intellectual property rights. Currently, California law gives heirs control over a famous family member’s posthumous profits by requiring their permission for the use of their likeness. As technology improves, however, more actors are concerned with stipulating their legacy. For example, Robin Williams banned the use of his image for commercials until 2039 and prevented anyone from digitally inserting his image into a film or show. Obviously, the use of performers’ likeness has economic value, so it is a matter of how these films and actors can agree on posthumous portrayal.  

See Reuters, Actors Rush to Protect Their Image from ‘Digital Resurrection’ After They Have Died Following Eerie Star Wars: Rogue One Reanimation of Carrie Fisher, Daily Mail, December 31, 2016. 


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