Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Lou Reed was the man who famously crooned, “Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.” The late lead singer and guitarist of The Velvet Underground — and of course, a musician and songwriter with a successful, decades-long solo career — may have been a bit wild at times. But that doesn’t explain why he would be so careless with his estate plan. This is a man with an estate worth more than $30 million — perhaps substantially more, in fact.
Recent filings with the Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan (that’s probate court, for us non-New Yorkers) show that Lou Reed’s estate has already earned $20,379,169 (give or take a few bucks) since he passed away from liver disease on October 27, 2013, at the age of 71. This is only the income that Lou Reed’s estate has brought in since his death, from his copyright, publishing and performance royalties and other deals put together under the skillful management of his longtime manager Read more...
It appears that the life of famed Top 40 Countdown host Casey Kasem is nearly at an end. On Wednesday, a Los Angeles Judge ruled that Casey Kasem’s daughter, Kerri Kasem, could suspend the artificial delivery of food and water to Casey due to his grave suffering.
Specifically, according to the Los Angeles Times, Kerri Kasem’s attorney filed documents with the court reporting the doctors’ conclusion that “continuation of artificial nutrition and hydration is not in the patient’s best interests because it will at best prolong the dying process for him and will certainly add suffering to an already terribly uncomfortable dying process.”
On Tuesday, the same Judge granted the request of Casey’s wife, Jean Kasem, who asked that Kerri be ordered to resume infusions of food, water and medicine for the ailing Casey. He has been hospitalized in critical condition with sepsis (serious infections that have reached the blood stream), other infections, bed sores, and late-stage dementia from Lewy Body disease, among other complications.
Judge Allows For Casey Read more...
It seems that everyone wanted Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell the team, after his racist remarks about Magic Johnson and African Americans became public knowledge. The NBA Commissioner, owners, players, Clipper fans, and Sterling’s own family did everything in their power to force him out. Last week, the news broke that Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, reportedly accomplished what everyone wanted — an agreement has been reached for the Clippers to be sold for a reported $2 billion dollars to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
But how did Shelly manage to do this without going to court — which would undoubtedly air Sterling family dirty laundry that no one in the Sterling family or the NBA would want to see made public?
CNN source: Shelly Sterling to handle Clippers sale
Reportedly, Shelly Sterling relied on a fairly standard provision in the Sterling family trust, which owns and controls the Sterling’s interest in the Clippers. According to ESPN and others, Shelly and Donald were co-trustees with equal authority Read more...
Casey Kasem — the legendary voice of American Top 40 Countdown and numerous cartoon characters — has been kidnapped by his own wife while he suffers from advanced dementia, according to Kasem’s daughter, Kerri Kasem. Casey’s wife, Jean Kasem, is accused of secreting away the 82-year old former DJ, in a move that could jeopardize his health, safety, and well-being. Kerri told a California judge and various media outlets that her step-mother had fled the state with her husband of 30 years, in an attempt to avoid a Judge’s ruling about who would be Casey’s new conservator.
The ruling was made on Monday, after a long family feud over the care and control of Casey Kasem. During the Monday court hearing, Kerri and her attorney obtained a temporary conservatorship over her father so that she can begin making decisions for him, such as where he lives, who he sees, and managing his medical care. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to actually make any of these decisions — or even see Read more...
A mere five days after the Hollywood acting legend passed away in his sleep at the age of 93, the family of Mickey Rooney was set to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom to fight over where he should be buried. Just hours before the court hearing, the estate reached a settlement — hopefully putting an end to the troubling feud that surrounded Rooney’s family the last few years.
On one hand, Rooney’s family fight should not be viewed as surprising. What else would be expected when a Hollywood icon dies with a new will disinheriting all nine of his children (from eight different marriages), his wife, and all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren? But a closer look shows how this family feud was far from the typical inheritance squabble we often see when famous people die.
Mickey Rooney’s estate is reported to be worth a mere $18,000 at this point. While his successful acting career spanned more than 80 years, most of Rooney’s starring roles occurred during the movie Read more...
Whitney Houston’s family has been through its share of disagreements since the pop diva passed away on February 11, 2012. Early on, there was trouble at the funeral, sparking concerns of a feud with Bobby Brown. Recently, however, the trouble has centered around Nick Gordon. Gordon was raised and treated like a son by Whitney Houston, from the time he was 12 years old.
Rather than looking at Whitney Houston’s Daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, as a sister, Gordon (now age 24) and Bobbi Kristina (who just turned 21) have recently gotten married. The tabloids are having fun with that relationship! Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, reportedly called the relationship “incestuous” when they were dating. Now that they are actually married, TMZ says Cissy was furious, but she hasn’t spoken publicly about it since then.
Other family members are not keeping quiet. In fact, the co-executor of Whitney Houston’s estate, sister-in-law Pat Houston, obtained a restraining order against Gordon recently. The restraining order was obtained because Pat says Gordon has made
The 2014 Oscars are complete. Trial & Heirs looks back at past Oscar winners like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor, Heath Ledger, Frank Sinatra, and Marlon Brando. Their estates illustrate important estate planning lessons that everyone can benefit from — even those who aren’t walking the red carpet at the Oscars.
1. Philip Seymour Hoffman Estate Planning Lesson: You Can Be Creative With Your Will or Trust
There were many mistakes and pitfalls with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s estate (including no estate tax planning and his failure to use a revocable living trust, as we discuss in our article). But, Hoffman — whose portrayal of Capote earned him the Best Actor Oscar in 2006 — didn’t do everything wrong.
He gets credit for a key component of estate planning that many people overlook: creativity. Estate planning is not meant to be “fill in the blank” or “one-size fits all.” You can use your will or trust to pass along your goals, values and moral beliefs. Most people think wills and trusts Read more...
Oscar-winning actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, died on February 2nd from a drug overdose. Recently, his long-time girlfriend and mother of his three children, Marianne O’Donnell, filed to open Philip Seymour Hoffman’s estate and to probate his will. While there are many lessons that can be drawn from his will, there are four main estate planning pitfalls that serve as important lessons:
1. Philip Seymour Hoffman Should Have Created A Revocable Living Trust.
The reason that Hoffman’s will is public and available for anyone to read (you can click here to read it for yourself), is because he relied on a will — and only a will — for his estate plan. For most people with even a modest estate, revocable living trusts are critical.
Why? When properly used, they help families avoid the costs, aggravation, and delays caused by the probate process. Probate court proceedings are public record (meaning anyone can read the will — even your nosy neighbor!), and are expensive, difficult to maneuver without an attorney, and Read more...
Paul William Walker IV was the star of the Fast & Furious movies, until his unfortunate — and ironic — death in a high-speed car accident on November 30, 2013. The car, in which Walker was a passenger, was found to have been doing at least 100 mph. Walker was 40 years old when he died, survived by his parents and his 15-year old daughter, Meadow Rain Walker.
Recently, Paul Walker’s father filed to open the estate, including Walker’s Last Will and Testament, which you can read here: Read Paul Walker’s Will. It sheds some interesting information about the Paul Walker Estate and highlights some valuable estate planning lessons.
First, the probate filing and will reveal that Walker had assets of about 25 million dollars, including 8 million in personal property (which would include cash and investments), $8.5 in expected income, and another $8.5 million in real estate (after subtracting mortgages).
Second, the filing shows that Walker had a revocable living trust, benefiting his daughter as the sole Read more...
To most parents, the question of whether the government should intervene to dictate how a child should be raised is an easy one. Parents, not the court system, should decide what is best for their children — in the absence, of course, of abuse or neglect. But does that change when a child’s life is on the line?
That is the difficult question facing a court of appeals in Ohio regarding Sarah Hershberger. What are the constitutional rights of parents to make life-or-death medical decisions for their child? What if the decision the parents make flies in the face of conventional medicine and, according to traditional doctors, means the child will die in less than a year?
Sarah Hershberger Guardianship Case
Sarah Hershberger is the eleven-year-old daughter of Andy and Anna Hershberger, who are Amish. The family lives in an Amish community near a small town outside of Cleveland. At least, they did until recently. Because the Ohio court system appointed a guardian over Sarah — for the sole purpose Read more...