Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Two Men Claiming to be Charles Manson's Sons Eliminated From Fight Over Estate

MansonTwo men that publicly claimed to be the offspring of late infamous mass-murderer Charles Manson have been eliminated from the battle of the Manson estate by a Los Angeles judge due to lack of proof. One man asserted that he was the product of an orgy that Manson was a party to and later given up for adoption, while the other man's mother was a member of the Manson Family.

The fight over Charles Manson's memorabilia, image, and publishing rights is now between two men left standing: Michael Channels, a memorabilia collector and pen pal who claims Manson named him as the sole beneficiary of all his rights and possessions in 2017 and Jason Freeman, a legitimate and acknowledged grandson of the cult leader whose father, Charles Manson Jr., killed himself in 1993.

There is no estimate on the current value of Charles Manson's estate. Manson's body is also being fought over as it lays unclaimed in a Los Angeles morgue under a false name.

See Jennifer Smith, Purported Sons of Charles Manson Fight Estate, Daily Mail, July 13, 2018.

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

July 15, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Music, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Article on Where There's a Will, There's a Way: The US Will Registry Offers a Technology Solution to the Lost Will Problem

PrinceStacey Jerome-Miller recently published an Article entitled, Where There's a Will, There's a Way: The US Will Registry Offers a Technology Solution to the Lost Will Problem, Probate & Property Magazine, Vol. 32, No. 4, July/August 2018. Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

The death of the musical artist Prince shocked the country, but what was more shocking was the news that, although his estate is worth approximately $300 million, no will declaring the distribution of his assets can be found.

One can only guess why Prince did not leave a will. Was a will outside the scope of his religious beliefs? Did his attorneys advise him to plan for the event of his death, and he simply ignored their advice? Maybe he had not gotten around to estate planning, or perhaps he drafted a will but neglected to tell his family its location. It seems incredible to believe that such a large estate could be left unprotected. Whatever the reasoning, one cannot help but wonder what will happen to Prince's millions now. The Petition for Formal Appointment of Special Administrator, filed by Prince's sister Tyka Nelson, in the Carver County District Court on April 26, 2016, states, "I do not know of the existence of a will and have no reason to believe that the decedent executed testamentary documents in any form." A large part of Prince's estate will be needlessly wasted on legal fees, and Prince's family will be tied up in court trying to sort it ,all out. In fact, as of May 14, 2018, over 1,900 documents have been filed in the case.

July 14, 2018 in Articles, Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Music, New Cases, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Article on Celebrity Estate Planning: Misfires of the Rich and Famous

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-07-10/bf6db905-e082-4d4c-88eb-e90adb7e137b.pngJessica Galligan Goldsmith, Shaina S. Kamen, Christiana M. Lazo, David J. Posner, and Bruce D. Steiner recently published an Article entitled, Celebrity Estate Planning: Misfires of the Rich and Famous, Probate and Property Magazine, Vol. 32, No. 4, July/August 2018. Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Like many ordinary individuals, celebrities often have outdated or nonexistent estate plans. Even when a celebrity has done careful estate planning and has well-drafted documents, changes in family circumstances or in the tax laws can create unexpected results. The estate plans of the celebrities discussed in this article, each selected to illustrate a different issue, offer useful lessons to estate planners and lay-persons alike.

  • Overly Simplistic Wills: Jim Morrison
  • After-Born Children: Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Domicile: Heath Ledger
  • Second Families and Decanting:David Bowie
  • Promises, Promises: Anna Nicole Smith

July 10, 2018 in Articles, Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Film, Music, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 8, 2018

CLE on Estate Planning Misfires of the Rich and Famous

CLEThe New York City Bar is holding a conference entitled, Estate Planning Misfires of the Rich and Famous, on Wednesday, August 8, at the New York City Bar in New York City. Provided below is a description of the event:

Americans are generally fascinated by celebrities, whether alive or dead. Highly publicized battles regarding the families and estates of celebrities cast a bright spotlight on the importance of proper estate planning. This highly entertaining and informative program will identify the common factors that cause such disputes, and aid attorneys in avoiding family fights for their clients. An expert faculty will discuss the estates planning misfires of Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Bill Davidson, James Gandolfini, Pablo Picasso and Charles Kuralt.

Click Here to View Program Agenda & Faculty

Sponsoring Association Committees:
Estate & Gift Taxation Committee, Evelyn M. Capassakis, Chair
Trusts, Estates & Surrogate's Court Committee, Andrew S. Auchincloss, Chair

CLE Credit:
NY: 3.0 professional practice
NJ: 3.2 general MCLE
CA: 3.0 general MCLE
PA: 2.5 general MCLE

July 8, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Film, Music, Television, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Pantera Drummer Vinnie Paul Buried in KISS Casket

VinnieCo-founder of Texas based rock band Pantera, Vinnie Paul, passed away in his sleep on June 22 at the age of 54. At the request of his family, Gene Simmons gifted them a custom KISS casket, identical to the one Vinnie's brother Darrell used in 2004.

Vinnie was buried on Saturday in Arlington, Texas, next to his brother and his mother. He was dressed in a number of familiar pieces of his clothing, including his hat. A free concert was also held in Arlington at the Bomb Factory at 3:33 pm., or "Dime Time," in tribute to his brother Darrell.

See Pantera Drummer Vinnie Paul to be Buried in KISS Casket Just Like Brother Darrell, TMZ, June 28, 2018.

 

July 3, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Lisa Marie Presley Sues Money Manager, Claims MisManagement of $100 Million Trust Fund

MarieThe daughter of famed American musician Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, is in the midst of a brutal divorce as well as a lawsuit against the ex-money manager of a trust set up for her benefit. Presley claims that Barry Siegel, "enriched himself with exorbitant fees" of more than $700,000 per year while placating her with emails that her trust was, "in good shape on your finance"' and that she should be, "assured that we are doing everything on our end to maintain both your current lifestyle and the future of you family." Instead, the trust that was once valued at $100 million is supposedly at only $14,000.

Presley's lawsuit blames her losses on Siegel's 2005 decision to sell 85% of her trust's stock in Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) - the trust's largest asset at the time." The Trust received $25 million in stock in American Idol's holding company as part of the sale of EPE. That company went bankrupt in 2016, "and in one week alone the Trust lost $24.5 million of the $25 million in stock,"' court documents say

She claims to owe $10 million in back taxes and $6 million in other debts, and her soon-to-be ex-husband is seeking $263,000 in annual alimony payments.

See Ryan Parry, EXCLUSIVE: Lisa Marie Presley Claims Her Ex-Money Manager Lost $100 Million Trust Fund Left to Her by Elvis With 'Reckless and Negligent' Investments While Paying Himself a Salary of $700,000, Daily Mail UK, June 18, 2018; see also Jay Brinker, Suspicious Minds, JayBrinker.com, June 21, 2018.

Special thanks to Jay Brinker (Attorney at Law, Cincinnati, Ohio) for bringing this article to my attention.

 

June 21, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Music, New Cases, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Michael Jackson Estate Sues Walt Disney Company

MjThe estate of the late Michael Jackson is suing the Walt Disney Company for copyright infringement claiming the company never received permission to use footage and songs by Jackson in their TV special entitled "The Last Days of Michael Jackson." The program premiered last week to an audience of 5.5 million viewers. Disney's lawyers have stated that because the program was a documentary that permission to use the material was not necessary.

The TV special featured the late performer's funeral and his children's emotional statements which the estate says were never licensed for commercial use. Short recordings of the singer's famous songs "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" were also used, and the estate claims it was never approached by the Disney Company to use those songs.

The estate is suing for profits Disney made off the special and other damages.

See Michael Jackson Estate Sues Walt Disney Company, TMZ, May 30, 2018.

May 31, 2018 in Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Music, New Cases, Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Nothing Is Off-the-Rack In Upcoming Sales Of Prince's Glittery Collection

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-05-19/d94eb58c-2b6f-4ff9-9df5-47159a1726d3.pngFamed musician and entertainer Prince passed away two years without a will, leaving all of his assets and massive estate in probate hell. He was known for ecclectic to bright stage (and off-stage!) attire, and many of the pieces that fans would recognize will be up for auction soon. Designers and jewelers that were contracted to equip the Entertainer in glitter and diamonds have commented that the majority of the items were custom made. “He never wore ready-made clothing,” says Prince scholar Karen Turman.

See Jason Teasuro, Nothing Is Off-the-Rack In Upcoming Sales Of Prince's Glittery Collection, Private Wealth, May 18, 2018.

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

May 19, 2018 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Prince's Family Files Wrongful Death Suit Against Hospital, Pharmacy Chain

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-04-26/7aceaaeb-a360-42f2-94c7-9130f737e7c6.pngPrince’s heirs have filed suit in Chicago’s Cook County against an Illinois hospital and the drugstore giant Walgreens. They are alleging that pharmacists in two of Walgreens’s Minnesota branches dispensed “prescription medications not valid for a legitimate medical purpose.” The heirs also claim that Prince received inadequate care while at Trinity Medical Center which directly resulted in his death. John Goetz, who filed the lawsuit at the behest of Prince’s family, said in a statement: “We will have much to say when the time is right. We have client interests to protect at the moment, including our theory of the case. What happened to Prince is happening to families across America. Prince's family wishes, through its investigation, to shed additional light on what happened to Prince. At the same time, further light on the opiate epidemic will hopefully help the fight to save lives. If Prince's death helps save lives, then all was not lost.”

See Scott Neuman, Prince's Family Files Wrongful Death Suit Against Hospital, Pharmacy Chain, NPR, April 24, 2018.

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

April 26, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 20, 2018

Avicii Smiling with Fans in His Final Days

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-04-20/238fa12d-1fdd-4ac1-b572-5956b93e6ba5.png28-year-old superstar DJ, Avicii, was found dead Friday morning at a luxury resort in Muscat, Oman. A number of pictures have surfaced of Avicii with fans at the resort taken during his final days. Though the renowned artist had given up on touring in 2016, he still shared a reciprocal passion for his many fans. Neither Avicii’s reps nor law enforcement have issued a formal statement about the circumstances surrounding his death.

See Avicii Smiling with Fans in His Final Days, TMZ, April 20, 2018.

April 20, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)