Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tens of Thousands of Elvis Fans Join Ex-wife Priscilla and Daughter Lisa Marie for Moving Candlelit Vigil at Graceland on the 40-year Anniversary of The King's Death

ElvisElvis’ wife and daughter, Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, joined thousands fans at Graceland ranch on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary of The King’s death. Fans traveled from all over the world to pay their respects and to take part in the vigil held outside the Graceland mansion. Lisa Marie Presley helped mourners light their candles as they remembered the life and legacy of her father. After their candles were lit, fans were led on a procession through the 13.8-acre estate, where they were able to see the graves of Elvis, his mother, father, and grandmother.

While many were content with the solemn affair, some fans were a bit disconcerted with a novel event that started this year: they were charged a $28.75 fee to attend. Organizers said that increasing attendance has resulted in higher costs for security and other ancillary expenses. This year’s remembrance of Elvis was expected to draw up to 50,000 visitors, which requires a substantial amount of planning and precautionary measures to be taken. But, some fans are not buying the rhetoric. Fred Schwarz, a long-time fan who has attended several vigils said, “I looked forward to going down there this year, and they come up with all this. I don't want to even go to Memphis anymore. The people running that are not Elvis fans. They are in business. Corporations, they want the bottom line.”

See James Wilkinson, Tens of Thousands of Elvis Fans Join Ex-wife Priscilla and Daughter Lisa Marie for Moving Candlelit Vigil at Graceland on the 40-year Anniversary of The King's Death, Daily Mail.com, August 16, 2017.

Special thanks to Molly Neace, J.D., for bringing this article to my attention.

August 19, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Glen Campbell, Whose Hit Songs Bridged Country and Pop, Dies at 81

GlenGlen Campbell, the country musician known famously for songs like “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Gentle on my Mind”, passed away Tuesday at the age of 81. Campbell’s publicist attributed his death to Alzheimer’s, from which he had been suffering for a number of years. Campbell publicly revealed his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in June 2011. He and his wife, Kimberly Campbell, wanted his fans to be aware of the issue in case he appeared disoriented during his farewell tour.

The tour, initially intended to span a short 5 weeks, ended up lasting for 15 months and saw Campbell perform at over 151 shows. The final performance on the tour was in Napa, California, toward the end of 2012. By 2014, the disease had progressed to the point that Campbell had to be moved to a long-term care center.

See Michael Pollack, Glen Campbell, Whose Hit Songs Bridged Country and Pop, Dies at 81, The New York Times, August 8, 2017.

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

August 18, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Britney Spears is Drafting a New Will to Protect Her Kids

Britney-spears-2001Britney Spears has elected to redraft her will in order to better benefit her two boys. Her current will leaves her entire estate to Sean, 11, and Jayden, 10. The issue with the will is that it leaves her fortune to her children when they turn 18. Spears has decided that leaving millions of dollars to teenagers may not be the best course of action and has instead chosen to place her assets into a trust upon her demise. The trust would limit her children’s access to monies based on their age. This arrangement also helps the estate avoid inheritance taxes it would otherwise owe.

See Britney Spears is Drafting a New Will to Protect Her Kids, TMZ, August 16, 2017.

August 18, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tupac's Hummer Back On Auction Block After High Bidder Flakes

H1Tupac’s 1996 Hummer went to the auction block in May 2016. An anonymous bidder from Ohio bought the heavily modified H1 for an astounding $337,000. As of yet, efforts to solicit payment have been totally unsuccessful and attempts by the auction house to find the buyer have garnered no response. RR Auctions is relisting the vehicle with an expected sale price closer to $100,000; much nearer the actual value of the SUV.

See Tupac's Hummer Back On Auction Block After High Bidder Flakes, TMZ, August 12, 2017.

August 16, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Chester Bennington Laid to Rest in Private Funeral

0730-chester-bennington-funeral-service-backgrid-sub-4Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington was laid to rest Saturday afternoon at South Coast Botanic Garden. There were a couple hundred people in attendance consisting mostly of family and close friends. A full stage was set up as a means to pay tribute to the deceased singer. The family decided to have a discreet, private funeral as opposed to an open service. Police provided security and guests were required to have a wristband and pass in order to attend. 

See Chester Bennington Laid to Rest in Private Funeral, TMZ, July 30, 2017.

August 1, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Quincy Jones Wins Cut of Michael Jackson's Hits ... $9.4 Million!

0726-quincy-jones-tmz-3Quincy Jones, producer of a number of Michael Jackson’s best-selling albums, won a $9.4 million jury award against MJJ Productions and Sony. The producer accused accountants of falsely characterizing income from record sales in order to avoid paying him royalties. After the verdict, Jones said, “This lawsuit was never about Michael, it was about protecting the integrity of the work we all did in the recording studio. I view it not only as a victory for myself personally, but for artists' rights overall."

See Quincy Jones Wins Cut of Michael Jackson's Hits ... $9.4 Million!, TMZ, July 26, 2017.

July 29, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tiger Lily Set to Inherit Millions

43ee5dfc074bb33c73a3cc1ff09ca5c7--happy-th-birthday-tiger-liliesRecent speculation indicates the daughter of Paula Yates, an English television actress, and Michael Hutchence, lead singer of INXS, may inherent millions of dollars when she turns twenty-one next week. Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence Geldof, known as Tiger Lily, may possibly receive an inheritance through a trust fund set up by her father prior to his suicide.

Geldof’s life weaves a sorrowful tale rife with loss. Geldof’s father took his own life in a hotel in Sydney in 1997. Fewer than three years after her father’s death, Geldof’s mother died from an accidental heroin overdose. In 2014, her half-sister, Peaches, also died from overdosing on heroin.

Despite his fame, Hutchence was rumored to have died penniless. The family he left behind sued his estate, but were stunned to find the estate was worth almost nothing. The family was also flummoxed to discover that Hutchence excluded the publication rights and royalties from music and record sales. Any windfall gained by Geldof would probably stem from these excluded rights her father left behind.

See Stephanie Linning, Michael Hutchence's Daughter Tiger Lily Is Set to 'Inherit Millions' on Her 21st Birthday Next Week Through a Trust Fund Set up By Her INXS Musician Father, Daily Mail.com, July 16, 2017

See Jay Brinker, New Sensation, Jay Brinker Blog, July 20, 2017.

July 24, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music, Television, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Quincy Jones Says He's Victim of Financial Elder Abuse, Judge Rejects Claim

0719-quincy-jones-mjj-sony-tmz-3In an ongoing war for Michael Jackson royalties, Quincy Jones is now alleging that he has been the victim of elder abuse. The eighty-four-year-old former producer is responsible for some of Michael Jackson's most notable albums, such as: "Off the Wall," "Thriller," and "Bad." Jones is claiming executives from Sony Music and MJJ Productions pulled an accounting trick on him by labeling certain revenues as profits instead of royalties. If the revenues has been properly classified as royalties, Jones would have been entitled to a significant share of the earnings. Because he was over the age of sixty-five at the time, Jones is arguing that the executives took advantage of his advanced age in order to take a larger share of the profits. Jones is suing for at least $10 million and is expected to testify in court this week.

See Quincy Jones Says He's Victim of Financial Elder Abuse, Judge Rejects Claim, TMZ, July 19, 2017.

Special thanks to Molly Neace (J.D.) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 23, 2017 in Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Madonna Files Order to Stop Auction of Tupac Breakup Letter

Madonna1Madonna filed papers in court in an effort to prevent the auction house, Gotta Have It Collectibles, from placing a number of personal items up for sale. Madonna is alleging that a handful of items listed for auction are her personal property and were taken without authorization by her former art consultant, Darlene Lutz. Madonna claims that Lutz, "betrayed my trust in an outrageous effort to obtain my possessions without my knowledge or consent." Many of the personal items in dispute are fairly innocuous: underwear, a hairbrush, and some personal photos. A bit more controversial, and valuable, is a break-up letter written to Madonna from Tupac Shakur. Another missive included in the auction was written by Madonna and includes some disparaging comments regarding Whitney Houston and Sharon Stone. In a public statement, the auction house and Lutz characterized Madonna's claims as "a completely baseless and meritless action."

See Jon Blistein, Madonna Files Order to Stop Auction of Tupac Breakup Letter, Rolling Stone, July 19, 2017.

July 19, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tupac's Iconic Duke Jersey Hits Auction Block

0707-tupac-duke-jersey-golden-auctions-3Fans of Tupac should be excited for the opportunity to purchase the deceased rapper’s iconic Duke jersey. The jersey comes framed with a certificate of authentication signed by a former bodyguard. According to Goldin Auctions, Tupac frequently wore the jersey while relaxing in his home. No minimum price for the jersey has been set, but given the legendary status of its former owner, it is expected to garner a high price at auction.

See Tupac Iconic Duke Jersey Hits Auction Block, TMZ, July 8, 2017.

July 10, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)