Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Princess Leia Set to Appear in Star Wars Episode IX

Fisher filmCarrie Fisher’s brother has confirmed her appearance as Princess Leia in the upcoming Star Wars Episode IX, which is set to be released three years after the actress’s death. Fisher’s character will appear in the closing chapter of the famous series not via computer-generated image; rather, her brother and daughter have allowed producers to use recently shot footage of her for the film. Fisher’s family hopes her legacy will continue for years to come.

See Ross McDonagh, Carrie Fisher’s Brother Confirms Princess Leia WILL Appear in Star Wars Episode IX . . . Which Will Be Released Three Years After Her Death, Daily Mail, April 7, 2017.

April 8, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 27, 2017

A 12-Foot Statute of Paul Walker?

Walker statuteRecently, a group of surfers, who idolize Paul Walker, plead the City Council to resurrect a statute of their hero in San Clemente. A freelance journalist, Chad Kroeger, made the touching pitch last Tuesday in hopes of seeing a legend brought to life. The proponents spoke of Walker as a “unifying figure.” The Article contains a video of the surfers’ pitch to City Council.

See Paul Walker Surfer Bros Beg City Council for 12 Foot Statute . . . ‘A Beacon of Headlights’, TMZ, March 27, 2017.

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

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds's Public Memorial Draws Hundreds

Memorial serviceCarrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds’s public memorial was held yesterday, consisting of singing, dancing, and memories. The memorial was held at Forest Lawn inside a 1,200-seat theater, which was almost at full capacity. Reynolds’s son, Todd Fisher, led the ceremony, featuring a video tribute, dance performances from Reynolds’s studio, and closing words from Dan Aykroyd.

See Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds: Public Memorial Draws Hundreds to Forest Lawn, TMZ, March 25, 2017.

March 26, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Film, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Marilyn Monroe's Intimate Pictures Hit the Auction Block

MmonroeA substantial collection of photos of the late Marilyn Monroe that chart the icon’s transformation are going up for sale. From a shy Norma Jean Baker to her final moments as a screen siren, more than 100 photos capture her journey. The images include promotional shots from Niagara in 1952, photos from her visit to the Korean troops in 1954, and photos with her husband in 1960. Additionally, there are thirty-three photos of Monroe taken just weeks before the legend’s untimely death. The photos are suspected to sell for $90,000.

See Ekin Karasin, The World’s Last Glimpse of Marilyn: Star’s Final Photoshoot Is Among Trove of Classic Monroe Images Going Up for Auction, Daily Mail, March 21, 2017.

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

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Todd Fisher Shares Details About His Mother & Sister's Memorial

Debbie carrieTodd Fisher, recently spoke about his mother, Debbie Reynolds, and sister, Carrie Fisher, at a screening for “Bright Lights.” He revealed some details about their combined upcoming memorial service, including that the memorial would be open to the public because his mother loved her fans. The memorial will be held at a 1,200-seat theater and livestreamed for those interested in watching the event. James Blunt will also perform a special tribute to Carrie with a song he wrote especially for that day. The memorial will be held on March 25 at Forest Law Memorial Park.

See Todd Fisher Shares Details About Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher Memorial, Fox News, March 18, 2017.

March 19, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

John Hurt's Latest Roles to Release from Beyond the Grave

John hurtSir John Hurt recently passed away from a long battle with pancreatic cancer, but despite his poor health, he continued to work on several projects that will posthumously release this year. One film will portray his own experiences, depicting a once-famous screen-writer who is terminally ill in “That Good Night.” Hurt will also star in several other new releases, which include “My Name Is Lenny,” “Damascus Cover,” and “Darkest Hour.” 

See James Dunn, A Terminally Ill Writer Saying His Final Goodbyes and Former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain: John Hurt’s Last Roles Set for Release from Beyond the Grave, Daily Mail, January 28, 2017. 


March 15, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Audrey Hepburn's Two Sons Agree to Split Her Memorabilia

HepburnAudrey Hepburn was known for her elegant style, and after her death in 1993, she left behind a treasure trove of memorabilia, which included costumes, jewelry, photos, scripts, and awards. This memorabilia, however, incited a legal battle over who would get what between her two sons. Hepburn had left her assets to her sons equally, but she presented no strict guidelines as to who received each particular item. After a two-year-long battle, it seems that the brothers might finally be coming to an agreement by attending mediation and signing a memorabilia agreement. 

While one legal battle ends, another is only beginning, as the eldest son was sued this past week over his interference with the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund. The charity was planning to exhibit some of Hepburn’s dresses and other memorabilia, which is the organization’s main source of funding, but there are now claims that Hepburn’s son is halting the exhibition and potentially tarnishing the charity’s reputation. 

See Amanda Ulrich, EXCLUSIVE: Audrey Hepburn’s Sons Agree to Split Their Late Mother’s Treasure Trove of Belongings, Including Costumes, Jewelry, Scripts and Awards, After Two-Year Legal Dispute, Daily Mail, March 9, 2017. 

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


March 9, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Film, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

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)