Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Graceland to Run Tours at Paisley Park

Paisley parkElvis Presley’s people are now running tours at Prince’s Paisley Park. Bremer Trust, the bank that manages Prince’s estate, just announced the deal that lets Graceland’s people run public tours starting in October. Some family members are disgruntled about the situation due to Graceland Holdings having previous financial problems. Graceland Holdings will receive 50% of the revenue generated from the new tours.

See Prince Tour Paisley Park Courtesy of Elvis Presley, TMZ, August 24, 2016.

August 25, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pills Containing Fentanyl Found at Prince's Estate

Prince6Several of the pills taken from Prince’s estate were counterfeit drugs containing fentanyl, a synthetic opioid more powerful than heroin. Officials say the pills were falsely labeled but are still unsure of how Prince obtained the drugs. Prior to his death, Prince’s tests showed no fentanyl in his system, leading officials to believe he was not a long-time abuser of the drug that caused his fatal overdose.

See Official: Pills Found at Prince’s Estate Contained Fentanyl, Fox News, August 21, 2016.

August 24, 2016 in Current Events, Intestate Succession, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Celebrity Estate Manager Explains Profitability After Death

JampolJeff Jampol is a part of the “pop-culture-legacy management business.” He focuses on putting together musicals, anniversary albums, museum exhibits, and iTunes digital box sets for celebrity musicians who have passed away. Jampol and his company acquire entertainment-related intellectual property through a trust fund and oversee and manage the assets. The Article goes on to discuss how Jampol got his starting point and what he has learned when managing celebrities’ estates.

See Steve Knopper, Jeff Jampol — Estate Manager for the Ramones, Doors, Joplin, Otis and More — Explains How Life After Death Can be Profitable, Billboard, August 12, 2016.

Special thanks to Deborah Matthews (Attorney, Alexandria, Virginia) for bringing this article to my attention.  

August 16, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Monetizing Images and Intellectual Property of Celebrities

Dead celebsWith the recent deaths of Prince and David Bowie, there is greater focus on the process for monetizing the images and other intellectual property in celebrity estates. Recordings and music publishing are handled by national law while the individual states determine rights of publicity. Specifically, rights of publicity are normally given broad protection but states do vary on the executors’ rights. Accordingly, the monetizing of publicity rights for deceased celebrities requires careful estate planning, including planning for updated technology, identifying the celebrity’s intellectual property, due diligence in marshaling the property, maximizing revenue, and protecting against infringement. Additionally, an adapted estate plan should consider merchandising rights, and whether or not they are signed away through contract. A celebrity’s estate plan can fulfill their dreams of success after they are gone, but it must be done with precise planning.    

See Derek Handova, How Do Estates Monetize Images and Intellectual Property of Dead Celebrities?, IPWatchdog, August 10, 2016.

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

August 12, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Music, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fans Fight for Glen Campbell and His Children

Glen campbellGlen Campbell, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, claims that his fourth wife will not let their two kids see him. While he is currently residing in a Nashville nursing home, a GoFundMe page was started to raise money for the legal defense of the two children—the page has raised $6,495 out of the $50,000 goal. Despite the passage of “The Glen Campbell/Peter Falk Bill,” which ensures that the no person who has guardianship over a child can deny visitation unless specifically authorized by the court, his wife is withholding the children from seeing him.

See New York Post, Glen Campbell’s Kids Say They Can’t See Their Dad, Fans Raise Money, Fox News, August 8, 2016.

August 9, 2016 in Current Events, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A New Heir to Prince's Estate?

Prince33Prince’s $300 million estate may now only have a single heir, a man coming forward with DNA proof that he is the son of the musician. If this man’s claim is legitimate, he will inherit the entire estate according to Minnesota law. This man claims that his mother was a singer who performed in the same club as Prince in the 80s.

See Karen Demasters, Heir to Prince’s Estate May Have Been Found, Private Wealth, August 1, 2016.

Special thanks to Rob Robertson (Attorney, Austin, Texas) & Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this Article to my attention.  

August 4, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Prince's Estate Ready to Unload Properties

Prince2Prince’s special administrator has filed a request to start releasing various real estate holdings. According to the request, the estate will only accept offers that are at least 90% of the fair market value. Prince is known to have owned real estate in Minnesota, Beverly Hills, and New York, with the Minnesota properties alone being worth $30 million. Looks like Prince’s heirs are wanting to liquidate his assets rather than hold on to them for their sentimental value.

See Prince Everything Must Go . . . Estate Ready to Dump Properties, TMZ, August 1, 2016.

August 2, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Judge Rules Prince's Possible Heirs to Six

Prince6On Friday, a judge dismissed the claims of twenty-nine people, alleging they were related to Prince. This narrowed the possible number of heirs down to six—his sister, three half siblings, a niece, and a grandniece, who will undergo genetic testing. Prince also had no known children, and eighteen claimants were ruled out as his children.

See Khushbu Shah, Prince’s Possible Heirs Narrowed Down to Six, CNN, July 29, 2016.

July 30, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Music, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 11, 2016

B.B King's Estate Sued for Album Cover Photo

Bb king estateA photographer is claiming in a new lawsuit that B.B. King and Universal Music Group used a series of photos he took for various album covers. The images were used on B.B. King’s albums, dating all the way back to 1971. The photographer is suing B.B. King’s estate and Universal for a portion of the profits they made off the albums.

See B.B. King Photog Tells Estate SNAP, YOU’RE SUED, TMZ, July 11, 2016.

July 11, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Woman Claims to be Prince's Half-Sister

Prince's siblingsAfter Monday’s court hearing to determine Prince’s heirs, a woman is claiming to be Prince’s half-sister, alleging that his father is not his biological father. Venita Jackson Leverette claims that her and Prince share the same father, a man that was previously in a relationship with Prince’s mother. A DNA test could be permitted, but the Minnesota judge has already determined that this process will be lengthy.

See Chris Spargo, New Woman Stakes Her Claim for Slice of Prince’s $300 Million Estate as she Claims to be His Half-Sister, Alleging the Singer Was Actually the Son of His Mother’s Ex-Boyfriend, Daily Mail, June 28, 2016.

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

June 29, 2016 in Current Events, Intestate Succession, Music, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)