Tag Archives: intestate

Celebrity Legacies: Kurt Cobain Estate At The Heart Of 20 Years Of Fighting

It has been more than twenty years since Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, died from a shotgun blast to his head, at age 27. His talent, passion, and creativity launched a new movement for not only rock music, but American culture itself.  Kurt Cobain

Cobain was a game-changer who burned too bright — brighter than he could handle.   Kurt Cobain suicide note summarized it well:  “I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.”

Cobain’s death may have epitomized the burning out of a flame that grew too hot, but it sparked something else — court fights and ugly battles over his legacy that continued for almost 20 years.

This is installment #7 of our Estate Planning Lessons From The Stars series, which is based on the Celebrity Legacies TV show for which we provide commentary as the estate legal experts.  See other articles in the series here.

Kurt Cobain Estate – Celebrity Legacies

His widow, Courtney Love, has been Read more...

| Leave a comment

Celebrity Legacies: Jim Morrison’s Will Leads To Estate Battle

Who opened the door to battles over the Jim Morrison Estate?  Who won … and what did they win when the dust settled?  And does drinking your loved one’s blood constitute a valid marriage ceremony?Jim Morrison estate

This is installment #2 of our weekly Estate Planning Lessons From The Stars series, which is based on the Celebrity Legacies TV show for which we provide commentary as the estate legal experts.  See other articles in the series here.

Doors front-man Jim Morrison died young at just 27 years of age, in 1971, from a heroin overdose. While his estate had limited cash when Morrison died, the assets in his estate became worth around $80 million.

Jim Morrison’s Estate

Despite his young age, hard-partying lifestyle, and free spirit, Jim Morrison took some steps to protect his estate … sort of.  Two years before he died, Morrison created a will.  It was a simplistic and poorly-drafted will, but a valid will nonetheless.

At least, it appeared to be valid initially.  It left everything to Read more...

| Leave a comment

Urooj Khan: Unsolved Murder of Chicago Lottery Winner Sparks Family Feud

Chicago businessman Urooj Khan jumped for joy when he learned he had the winning numbers for a million-dollar lottery drawing last summer.  Too bad he never had a chance to enjoy it.  He was murdered days before he was going to receive the $425,000 lump-sum, after-tax winnings.

Urooj Khan / Illinois Lottery

Originally, the 46-year-old’s death was ruled natural, due to hardening of the arteries.  Later a family member — unidentified so far — raised suspicions with the police that led to testing blood and tissue samples.  The results came back positive for cyanide.  Police reclassified the death as a homicide.

Khan’s body was recently exhumed, several months after he was originally buried, so more testing could be done to help police learn more about his cause of death.  So far, they haven’t named a suspect.  However, Khan’s brother isn’t waiting for the police to do so.  He’s already spoken out.

Urooj Khan lottery local news video

Urooj Khan’s brother, Imtiaz Khan, told the Chicago Sun-Times that he has suspicions Read more...

| Leave a comment

Abraham Lincoln Estate: Are You Better Prepared Than Abraham Lincoln Was?

Less than four weeks since its release, the movie Lincoln already has earned nearly $84 million at the box office.  Chronicling Abraham Lincoln’s historic efforts to abolish slavery, the movie has garnered widespread critical and audience appeal.  Abraham Lincoln estate

At Trial & Heirs, however, we can’t help but think of another aspect of Abraham Lincoln’s life … he is one of the most notable examples of someone dying without a will.  This got us thinking, and digging.  What did happen to the Abraham Lincoln estate after he died?

According to a series of bulletins issued from the Abraham Lincoln Association, his family was understandably overcome with grief.  By noon on the day he died, April 15, 1865, Lincoln’s oldest son, Robert, sent a telegram to Justice David Davis of the United States Supreme Court.  Davis was a close friend of Lincoln and Robert considered Davis to be a “second father,” according to a letter Robert wrote years later.  The telegram said, “Please come at once to Washington to take charge of Read more...

| Leave a comment

Amy Winehouse Estate: Amy Didn’t Have a Will After All, But Did Have Millions

Shortly after Amy Winehouse passed away from accidental alcohol poisoning at the age of 27 last July, reports surfaced that she not only had a will, but she had the foresight to update her will after her divorce from ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.  These early reports have recently been proven wrong.

Amy Winehouse will

Amy Winehouse in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Probate records were recently filed showing that Winehouse died intestate, meaning without a valid will.  The estate value is listed as £4,257,580 (worth about $6.7 million U.S.) in total assets, but taxes and other debts reduce the value to £2,944,554, or $4.66 million, U.S.  Many believed her estate would be worth much more, perhaps as high as $15 to $20 million.

But, let’s not jump to conclusions so quickly.  The assets passing through probate court are those left in her individual name when she died.  So anything held jointly with someone else, or that had a beneficiary designation (like a life insurance policy), would pass outside of probate, directly to the other person.   Read more...

| 4 Comments