Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

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)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Eldest Children of ‘French Elvis’ Johnny Hallyday Win Legal Battle to Freeze His Assets in Bitter Family Feud over His £100 Million Fortune

Johnny Hallyday seance studio.Johnny Hallyday, called the “French Elvis,” passed away last December after struggling with lung cancer. Though Hallyday died with a will, it was drafted and executed in the United States, which means it does not apply in France. His two eldest children, Laura Smet and David Hallyday, have been involved in a dispute over the estate, which includes a £100 million fortune, with Hallyday’s widow, Laeticia Hallyday. Laura and David recently gained a legal victory when a French court placed a temporary freeze on several of Hallyday’s French estates. The most important question for the beneficiaries is whether France’s law or US law applies. Under French laws, Laeticia and her two adopted children are entitled to the whole of the estate.

See Charlotte Dean, Eldest Children of ‘French Elvis’ Johnny Hallyday Win Legal Battle to Freeze His Assets in Bitter Family Feud over His £100 Million Fortune, Daily Mail.com, April 14, 2018.

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

April 18, 2018 in Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Music, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Widow of Toto Member Jeff Porcaro Sues Band for Royalties

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-03-15/6c8b55a8-a93f-45ca-b77a-d593388353fb.pngSusan Porcaro-Goings says that her husband, Jeff Porcaro, placed her in charge of his estate after he passed away in 1992. This position entitles Porcaro-Goings to Porcaro’s share of Toto’s royalties. According to court documents, Porcaro-Goings is alleging that former band mates are acting together to keep band finances secret. She has made a number of requests regarding revenues but has never been provided with complete and accurate details. Porcaro-Goings is filing the suit to force Toto to disclose its records in order to find out what she is owed.

See Widow of Toto Member Jeff Porcaro Sues Band for Royalties, TMZ, March 12, 2018.

Special thanks to Molly Neace, estate planning attorney, for bringing this article to my attention.

March 16, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch Train Is Coming To Auction

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-03-14/5928589d-e4c7-4dbd-8653-dff478f8d465.pngNeverland Ranch, Michael Jackson’s 2,700-acre property, has sat idle on the market for nearly three years without a buyer. The contents of the property, however, have enjoyed substantially more success when offered for sale. Prior to his passing in 2009, Jackson had steadily started selling his estate’s furniture, decorations, toys, and arcade games at auction and through private sales. One of the items Jackson successfully sold was a custom-made electric train set from Germany. The train was created for Jackson’s children and each car could fit two kids or a single fun-loving adult. The train was purchased around 2009 by an ardent Jackson fan. The train is being placed for auction and is estimated to sell for as much as $250,000.

See James Tarmy, Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch Train Is Coming To Auction, Bloomberg Pursuits, March 2, 2018.

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

March 14, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

What Does the IRS’ Michael Jackson Dispute Mean for Celebrity Estate Planning?

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-03-01/05f05e96-6147-4067-ae5e-3e0922a92209.pngWhen Michael Jackson passed away in 2009, he left behind a controversial legacy that has presented issues for both tax collectors and fans alike. Jackson’s reputation had been eroded over the years by allegations of drug and child abuse and well-documented eccentric behavior. Despite these past issues, Jackson’s estate has flourished. Executors John McClain and John Branca have entered into various deals, including a music deal with Sony, that have earned Jackson’s estate millions of dollars. Despite this recent explosion in revenue, the pair valued Jackson’s likeness at a surprisingly meager $2,105. They claimed that his damaged reputation was the reason for the low valuation. The IRS, as might be suspected, did not agree with the duo, claiming that Jackson’s likeness was worth over $400 million. Fortunately for Jackson’s estate, the Tax Court barred the IRS from seeking some penalties because it failed to adhere to certain procedural requirements. Though it remains uncertain how the Tax Court will value the estate and apply penalties, this trial may have significant repercussions for how celebrities handle their estate plans.

See Serafina Nicolais, What Does the IRS’ Michael Jackson Dispute Mean for Celebrity Estate Planning?, Lexology, February 16, 2018.

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

March 1, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Justin Bieber is Getting a New Baby Sister

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-02-21/f7143d2a-e5d9-43d4-803a-48f9aa935907.pngA new Bieber will be making her way into this world in the next few months. Justin Bieber's father, Jeremy Bieber, recently revealed the news that his new bride, Chelsey Rebelo, is pregnant.  Rebelo is approximately four to five months along. The couple's pink-themed Jamaican wedding this week was an homage to their expected daughter. This is the pair's first child together, though Jeremy already has three of his own.

See Justin Bieber is Getting a New Baby Sister, TMZ, February 21, 2018.

 

February 22, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Temptations' Lead Singer Dennis Edwards Dead at 74

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-02-03/8b704a3b-a5e6-44ea-a9a9-2786ecf3428f.pngLead singer of The Temptations, Dennis Edwards, passed away Thursday night while in Chicago’s Mercy Hospital. Though Edwards’s relationship with the group was rocky at best, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with The Temptations in 1989. He would have turned 75 on Saturday. The cause of death has not yet been released.

See The Temptations' Lead Singer Dennis Edwards Dead at 74, TMZ, February 2, 2018.

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

Monday, January 29, 2018

Prince Estate: We Win War Over Unreleased Tunes…Boxill’s Gone Ghost

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-01-29/330bfa68-4855-457a-9980-87bb1c19c89f.pngPrince’s estate is claiming that it has triumphed in its legal battle against producer George Boxill. Boxill has claimed that he is in possession of a number of previously unreleased tracks that he and Prince worked on between 2006 and 2008. The estate was seeking court intervention to prevent the unauthorized release of these works. Boxill had until January 23 to respond to the estate’s motion, but they claim that he failed to do so. The estate is now asking the court to sign off on their victory. Unless Boxill can come up with a valid excuse for his failure to reply, the estate will likely receive an injunction preventing the release of Prince’s music.

See Prince Estate: We Win War Over Unreleased Tunes…Boxill’s Gone Ghost, TMZ, January 29, 2018.

January 29, 2018 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Glen Campbell’s Will Doesn’t Include Three of His Eight Children

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-11/38fb5675-84b2-4718-9a05-2afb1e6bcf6e.pngAccording to documents filed in a Nashville court, Glen Campbell excluded his daughter, Kelli, and two sons, William and Wesley, from receiving any benefit from his estate. Campbell fathered a total of eight children over the course of four marriages. The children that were excluded from his will were all from his second marriage to Billie Jean Nunley. Kim Campbell, his fourth wife, is currently serving was the executor of his estate, which is estimated to be worth in excess of $50 million. Given the exclusion of three of Campbell’s children and his history of Alzheimer’s, the January 18 hearing on the filing may be the impetus for a protracted legal battle.   

See Glen Campbell’s Will Doesn’t Include Three of His Eight Children, Fox News, November 30, 2017.

December 11, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Guardianship, Music, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Glenn Frey Eagles Legend Left Everything to Wife

1115-glenn-frey-getty-3Glenn Frey, former guitarist for the Eagles, died with a will that leaves everything to his wife of twenty-five years, Cindy Millican. The will only lists assets totaling $100,000, but makes reference to a family trust. It is likely the legendary musician left the bulk of his estate in the trust. There is a minor hitch, as Millican claims she only has a copy of the original will. This should not be too much of an issue unless the will is contested.

See Glenn Frey Eagles Legend Left Everything to Wife, TMZ, November 15, 2017.

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

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