The Trial & Heirs
Update Archives

  • May 2014

    May is National Family Month! What better way to take care of your family than with the proper estate planning? If you need help talking with your loved ones or clients about their estate planning, you can use our celebrity stories to help.

    In this month's Trial & Heirs Update, we explore the burial ruckus in the Mickey Rooney estate as well as the drama between Whitney Houston's family and her daughter, Bobbi Kristina. Is the Houston estate money to blame for this drama? We share our thoughts below as well as lessons to avoid these conflicts. We also include a video tip from Danielle to help professionals grow their businesses using celebrity stories.

  • March 2014

    The red carpet season may be over, but we can still roll out the red carpet with our celebrity estate planning lessons! We include lessons from the estates of former Oscar winners, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor, Heath Ledger, Frank Sinatra, and Marlon Brando.

    In this Trial & Heirs Update, we also explore the $25 million estate of Paul Walker. Even if we don't have a $25 million estate, we can still benefit from some of the estate planning that Walker did. We share what you need to know in our article. Finally, we examine the tough question of when and if parents have the right to determine their child's medical treatment in the Sarah Hershberger guardianship case.

  • January 2014

    Happy 2014! We hope that everyone made their New Year's resolutions. Hopefully, one of those resolutions is to update or, if necessary, work with an attorney to create your estate plan. If you, your family or your clients need some additional motivation, you can share our updated 2nd edition of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!

    Meanwhile, the end of 2013 was also an important time for Britney Spears. We shared our thoughts about her with Access Hollywood. Does Britney still neeed a conservatorship after almost six years?

  • October 2013

    Halloween is approaching! This is the time of year for ghouls, goblins and zombies, which of course makes us think of Michael Jackson's Thriller video. It sure has been thrilling for his estate lately! In fact, we wrote about Michael Jackson's estate in two of our articles in this month's Update.

    We also share our thoughts and lessons on the latest with the National Enquirer heirs, Sam Simon of The Simpsons TV show, and New York socialite, Brooke Astor's estate saga.

  • July 2013

    The Summer is upon us! For many of us, that means that it's the season for buying or selling real estate. What legal tips do you need to know? We shared our thoughts with the Hallmark Channel, and we included them for you in this month's Update.

    We also included our analysis of the latest celebrity estate battles with lessons to help you, your families, and your clients. This month features stories on Amanda Bynes, James Gandolfini, Bill Davison, and Anna Nicole Smith. We also included some information on our newest project to help families resolve conflicts.

  • June 2013

    Do you know a family who is fighting after a loved one has passed away? Maybe it's your own family. We have made a commitment to help families, and in 2013 we are making it a priority. We want to help you.

    If you, or one of your friends, loved ones, or clients could benefit from free consulting services, please contact us today. You can reach us by email or by phone 1-888-99-HEIRS (994-3477).

    We are so appreciative of all of your support over the last few years, let us help you in 2013. All emails and inquiries will be kept private and confidential.

    In this month's edition, we also included our analysis of the latest celebrity estate battles with lessons to help you, your families and your clients. We see that money doesn't always bring happiness. Just take a look at the story of the Chicago lottery winner, the Doris Duke heirs in a billion dollar fortune fight, and the Arturo Gatti case. We also included the latest news with the Jackson family's court battle against AEG as well as the Attorney General's scolding in the James Brown case. And of course, we couldn't leave out our analysis of the conclusion of Kim Kardashian's divorce.

  • January 2013

    Happy 2013 to you!

    We ended 2012 with a trip to Los Angeles to tape a few segments for the Hallmark Channel's Home & Family TV Show on the Universal Studio lot. It was a wonderful experience! In addition to filming our Trial & Heirs' segments, we had the chance to be part of the cooking segments with the hosts, Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare, as well as Kelly Hansen and Jeff Pilson from Foreigner, and celebrity hair guru, Jose Eber. By the way, Kelly makes a delicious guacamole! Plus, we spent time with the prima ballerina from the LA Ballet Company and saw her beautiful ballet moves. Our two Trial & Heirs segments covered Wills & Trusts and Elder Law & Special Needs Planning. We included one of the segments for you below.

    Of course, in 2013 we've been busy writing about the latest celebrity legal issues for you. Does Britney Spears still need a conservatorship? Why is Jenni Rivera's estate headed for turmoil? Are you better prepared with your estate planning than Abraham Lincoln? You can read our articles below to find out!

  • November 2012

    It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Wasn’t it just summer yesterday?

    The holiday season is a great time for you to talk to your loved ones about estate planning. You’re going to be seeing them, so why not take the time to make sure their affairs are in order so your family doesn’t end up fighting?

    As usual, we have some new celebrity stories to help! Sherman Hemsley, a/k/a George Jefferson, teaches us a great lesson about what kind of fighting can happen when someone waits too long to do estate planning … even over an estate worth as little as $50,000.00.

    Whitney Houston left behind a much bigger estate. Her family members are worried about her daughter inheriting too much money at a young age. They say Whitney never would have wanted that. Make sure to read the article to find out the important lesson for your family from Whitney's estate.

    These are great stories to talk over at the Thanksgiving table. And, while you’re at it, you can impress your family members with your knowledge of the Superman heirs’ struggle for truth, justice, and the American way! Or, if the Easy Rider is more your style, Danielle shares her thoughts about the Dennis Hopper estate in an ABC News article.

    Want more? Our book and DVDs have more celebrity stories with lessons; these are great tools to get the conversation going. In fact, The Washington Post says that Trial & Heirs "ignited a lively discussion with family and friends during a holiday gathering."

    Click here by December 31st and we'll donate 10% of all sale proceeds to the American Red Cross to provide some much needed relief to those effected by Hurricane Sandy.

    So many celebrity stories … how will you fit them all in during one meal?

  • September 2012

    Wow, it's been quite a summer for celebrity estates! And that means that we've been busy writing and filming to keep you posted on the latest.

    In the Michael Jackson estate, there were allegations of corruption against the executors, Katherine Jackson goes missing, and some unexpected changes in guardianship. There's also the twist in the fight between Michael Jackson's heirs and concert promoter AEG. In this Trial & Heirs Update, we included all of the latest in the King of Pop's estate with our articles and our TV interview with The Insider.
    But that's not all! Check out the Monkey business surrounding the Davy Jones' estate, find out why continued fighting in the Rosa Parks estate may be staining her legacy, and read Andy's thoughts in an interesting ABC News article about a fashion designer's widow who refuses to stop suing even after she lost her case.

    We also included our new article, "Celebrities' 4 Estate Planning Mistakes - and What They Can Teach You," that takes a look at the estate planning mistakes of Whitney Houston, Michael Crichton, Amy Winehouse and Etta James. And of course, we shared our TV interview with The Insider, in which we discuss the latest on the Michael Jackson case as well as the juicy details in the estates of Anna Nicole Smith, James Brown, and Frank Sinatra.

  • June 2012

    No one would ever adopt their ex-husband to try to increase their family’s share of an inheritance, would they? One of the heiresses of the Gore-Tex fortune would. Want to know what happened? No sweat! We give you all of the details in this month’s issue.

    But that’s just the start. In the Gary Coleman estate, there were allegations that his ex-wife cheated on and abused him. Whatcha talkin’ bout Willis?! Did this cause Coleman's ex-wife to lose out on his estate?

    Why was the still-legally-blonde Reese Witherspoon back in court? And what would cause a Samsung billionaire to allegedly steal millions from his late-father’s trust? Read on to find out.

    We also included articles from USA Today and the UK's The Guardian / The Observer with Andy’s analysis on the Rosa Parks case and the latest goings on with the Zsa Zsa Gabor circus.

  • April 2012

    Spring has officially sprung! Along with spring, a plethora of celebrity legal news has sprung into the headlines as well. Tupac's hologram, the power struggle over the Archie Comic empire, and Zsa Zsa's family feud are just a few of our headlines this month.

    At first blush, you may not realize that there are lessons for all of us from these stories, but we give you the Trial & Heirs' lesson in each one. In this month's newsletter, we also explore the latest legal news in the Brooke Astor case, Amy Winehouse estate, and a money grab involving one of Michael Jackson's children.

  • March 2012

    This month, the superstar Whitney Houston passed away at the young age of 48 years old. This tragedy has been all over the news, ranging from the effects of Whitney's death on her daughter to the tension between Houston's family and her ex-husband Bobby Brown. Lots of questions are being raised. Did Whitney have a will or a trust? Who are her beneficiaries? Who will take over Whitney's dispute with her step-mother, Barbara Houston? Was Whitney "broke" when she passed away and if so, will her estate remain "broke"?

    We've been busy answering all of these questions for the media (and you!) with interviews we've given and articles we've written. You can also watch Danielle's TV interview with ABC's Detroit affiliate on Whitney's estate.

  • February 2012

    This month, the superstar Whitney Houston passed away at the young age of 48 years old. This tragedy has been all over the news, ranging from the effects of Whitney's death on her daughter to the tension between Houston's family and her ex-husband Bobby Brown. Lots of questions are being raised. Did Whitney have a will or a trust? Who are her beneficiaries? Who will take over Whitney's dispute with her step-mother, Barbara Houston? Was Whitney "broke" when she passed away and if so, will her estate remain "broke"?
    We've been busy answering all of these questions for the media (and you!) with interviews we've given and articles we've written. You can also watch Danielle's TV interview with ABC's Detroit affiliate on Whitney's estate.

  • January 2012

    This month's issue of the Trial & Heirs Update is jam packed with tons of celebrity cases! What can we learn from Etta James, Britney Spears, Stieg Larsson, and Heidi Klum? Did the Australian billionaire really promise millions to his mistress? Did Ryan O'Neal steal a famous Andy Warhol painting of Farrah Fawcett? And what about all of the turmoil going on in the Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bob Marley estates?

    You can read all of these stories and the Trial & Heirs™ lessons that go with them.

    We're also extremely proud and excited to open the doors to our new Trial & Heirs Grow Your Business Club. This in an exclusive club with unique, turn-key marketing tools for legal and financial professionals to share with clients and prospects, including:

    Monthly customizable NEWSLETTERS,
    - Series of "DRIP LIST" emails about estate planning,
    - The Trial & Heirs DIGITAL LIBRARY,
    - Hundreds of ARTICLES that you can personalize and send,
    - And Much, Much More!

    These tools incorporate the Trial & Heirs™ brand of celebrity-based stories, and are not available anywhere else.
    Click here to learn more about the Trial & Heirs Grow Your Business Club!

  • Special Edition

    Announcing Exciting News! We've got some very exciting news for those of you who are professionals and a New Year's video below for all of you to start off 2012 the right way!

    Over the last couple of years since our bestselling book first came out and in response to our recent TV Special, we’ve had financial and legal professionals reach out to us and ask us for help in all areas of their businesses. Many of you asked us how you could help your clients and prospects with their estate planning using our celebrity stories and lessons.

    Well, we listened and decided to put together a series of three complimentary videos to show you how you can help your clients and prospects, and at the same time, grow your businesses.

    And, if you're not a professional in one of these fields, feel free to forward this to some of the professionals that you know.

    Here’s the link to check out the videos:

  • Trial & Heirs Top Tips for the Holidays 2011

    Across the country in December, families will be coming together for the holidays. Sometimes the holidays are one of the only times of the year that family members see each other. They eat, share stories, and laugh together. Of course, there may be a few family squabbles, but hopefully no mashed-potato flinging. Or will there be? Overall, the holidays are rare opportunities for family member to have face-to-face conversations. One critical conversation is talking about estate planning - what happens legally when a loved one passes away.

  • November 2011

    This month we're coming to a town near you! San Diego, Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Detroit, and West Palm Beach are just a few of the PBS affiliates airing our show, Trial & Heirs: Protect Your Family Fortune! You can check with your local PBS affiliates for air dates and times. We included a few clips below to give you a "taste" of the show.
    Trial & Heirs: Protect Your Family Fortune! will definitely get your family talking over the holidays and help you broach the often tough topic of estate planning in a fun and entertaining way. Of course, it will also help you protect your family fortune, whether large or modest!
    Speaking of the holidays, Thanksgiving is around the corner. We wrote an article for Forbes, "Pass The Turkey With a Side of Celebrity Estate Planning Stories" that will give you some top-of-the-minute conversation starters for Thanksgiving. Did you know that Kim Kardashian and Michael Jackson can help your family with estate planning? They can! Just check out our article below to find out how.
    We wish all of you a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving and will look forward to sharing some more tips with you in December!

  • September 2011

    This month marks the debut of our new segment for Fox 2. You can join us as we dish the dirt on celebrity estate battles while providing valuable lessons for you, your family and your clients. We'll keep you posted on the air dates for all of our Fox 2 segments on Facebook. We included the debut below, in which we discuss Tony Curtis, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and the latest in the Michael Jackson case. If you don't get Fox 2 in your area, you can join us online at
    This month we also included our latest articles on Tony Curtis, Britney Spears, Simon Cowell, Russell Armstrong, and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Now you can view our articles every week on If you want it "hot of the press," make sure to click here to follow us on Forbes.
    And for those of you who are business owners, make sure to read the article from TOMI magazine (the entertainment magazine for entrepreneurs) to get our top tips and advice on what you need to know to protect your business and your legacy.

  • August 2011

    After months of preparation, it's hard to believe that tonight at 8pm EST is the premiere of out TV Special, Trial & Heirs: Protect Your Family Fortune!

  • June 2011

    Have you ever thought about how legal shows on TV always wrap up the cases by the end of the hour? It's too bad that cases can't end that quickly in real life. That's never more true than with estate battles, which can drag on for years. The celebrity updates in this month's issue definitely illustrate this point!

  • May 2011

    Do you want to know the truth about trusts? How about the real estate ins-and-outs that affect your estate planning? What about the latest in the estate battles of the rich and famous?

  • April 2011

    Protect Your Legacy From Being a Wet Mess

    April rains in a slew of celebrity cases that highlight the same lesson. What is it? Don't rely on oral promises! Michael Jackson, James Brown, and Gary Coleman all left their intentions unclear through oral promises as opposed to putting their wishes in writing. You can read about the cases below to make sure that you don't make the same mistakes! Elizabeth Taylor, on the other hand, seems to have done it right. We'll see what happens as Elizabeth Taylor's estate progresses. Hopefully, it will run smoothly. One thing is for certain, make sure that you, your loved ones, and your clients put legacy wishes in writing through the properly-drafted estate planning documents.

    You don't have to be famous for your family and your legacy to be plagued by court battles, confusion, and expensive attorney fees. Good estate planning protects your legacy the same way that an umbrella protects you from the April rain. Make sure not to leave a wet mess when you pass away!

  • March 2011

    What a month for celebrity news! They say that "March comes in like a lion" and boy did it ever! The celebrity legal news was off the charts from Charlie Sheen, Dennis Hopper, Mickey Rooney, Malcolm X and more! In this month's Legacy Update, we keep you posted on the latest in all of these cases. We also included a segment with "Mary Talks Money" from ABC's Live Well Network and an interview with The Street. Let's hope that March "goes out like a lamb" because we'll be traveling to Chicago for some speaking events (sponsored by Arden Courts) and an interview with NBC-5. If you're in the Chicago area and want to join us, visit

  • February 2011

    This January, we spent some time in New York with the Senior Editor of Forbes Magazine, John Dobosz. While we were there, we discussed a few of our tips for 2011, including tips on the new estate tax laws and the growing epidemic of financial exploitation. You can watch our interviews with John as well as read our article "Trial & Heirs' Top Tips for 2011," below. Of course, we also included the latest scoops on celebrity estates including, a new battle erupting in the Michael Jackson estate, Elizabeth Edwards, Stieg Larsson--the author of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Ronni Chasen--Hollywood publicist, and there's even a family feud (some say it involves an evil stepmother!) between Walt Disney's heirs.

  • December 2010

    It's that time of year again! The time of year when families come together to celebrate the holidays. The month of December can be absolutely blissful or one of intense stress. (We hope that it's blissful for you!) In this month's Legacy Update, The Washington Post points out that celebrity estate stories can lead to "lively" holiday conversations. To help you start these conversations, we have our Top Five Tips for Holiday Conversations, which we hope you put to good use! You'll also find an article from on estate planning mistakes to avoid. And yes...we didn't forget to include all of the juicy updates on celebrity cases for your reading enjoyment this holiday season!

  • November 2010

    Please join In this month's Legacy Update, read the latest famous Trial & Heirs and Fox 2 for a special event in honor of National Alzheimer's Awareness Month.

  • October 2010

    In this month's Legacy Update, read the latest famous fortune fight updates about Dennis Hopper, Lisa Marie Presley, Michael Jackson, John Steinbeck and Anna Nicole Smith. Of course, as The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review points out, we provide lessons for your families and clients along with each of the celebrity cases. This month we also included some behind-the-scenes information about why we wrote Trial & Heirs in an excerpt from our Spinal Column Newsweekly interview.

  • September 2010

    What can you learn from Michael Crichton, Bob Marley and Babe Ruth? Read Insurance News Net's article on "The Lessons of Famously Bad Estate Planning," to find out Danielle's tips. Have heirs of the late owner of the Detroit Pistons, Bill Davidson, escaped an inevitable feud? Andy talks with the Detroit Free Press about Davidson's case and what families need to know to avoid the breeding ground for a "knock-down drag-out fight." What did Minding Our Elders say about Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! ? All of these questions will be answered in this month's Legacy Update. Of course, we also included highlights from the latest cases, including an update on Gary Coleman's contentious clash, Elvis's supposed death 33 years ago, Michael Jackson's father's refusal to stay out of the King of Pop's business, and possibly another Brooke Astor case in the making.

  • August 2010

    Did George Steinbrenner's family really hit a home run with estate taxes? What did Inman News think of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! ? How can you have access to daily legal tips, facts, stats and more to help your family and clients? All of these questions will be answered in this month's Legacy Update. Of course, we also included the latest cases that you need to know including, one of the greatest art controversies of our time, the chess master--Bobby Fischer--who died without even a simple will, the battle Lucille Ball's daughter waged to recover her mother's heirlooms, and the ongoing estate of football player Steve McNair.

  • July 2010

    In this month's Legacy Update, learn about life insurance beneficiary designations from the Trial & Heirs' excerpt on Whitney Houston featured in The Huffington Post. Also, read the Top Five Tips that you need to know about estate planning in the event of a divorce by looking at the Trial & Heirs' article in Forbes, which examines the cases of Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper, Tiger Woods and Ron Perelman. Listen to Danielle's interview on CBS radio to learn from Frank Sinatra, Ted Kennedy and Florence Griffith Joyner a/k/a Flo Jo. And, don't forget to check out the latest celebrity updates, including a woman who leaves a mansion and $3 million to her dogs, one of the world's richest men, and the Gary Coleman and Michael Jackson estates.

  • June 2010

    In this month's Legacy Update, read the juicy scoop on the Dennis Hopper case! We shared our thoughts on the upcoming court battle surrounding his estate with Also included are a peek at Michael Jackson's Trust as well as the controversy surrounding Gary Coleman's death and updates on the estates of Mel Simon, Elvis Presley (yes, you read that right!), and the famous songwriter, Danny Tate. You can also read tips from Palm Beach Daily News on avoiding costly estate planning missteps and the Michigan Bar Journal's review of Trial & Heirs.

  • May 2010

    In this month's Legacy Update, read the latest cases including a fascinating legal battle involving frozen sperm, a wealthy family who is convinced that their 74-year old mother was murdered for a 15 million dollar life insurance policy, Mark Twain's will from 100 years ago, and the most recent developments in Michael Jackson and Steve McNair estates.

  • March 2010

    Danielle Mayoras, an estate planning attorney, and Andrew Mayoras, a probate litigation attorney, educate audiences across the United States through speaking engagements, print, broadcast and social media. The duo consistently draws rave reviews and is in high demand for both consumer and professional presentations. They’ve been featured on the Rachael Ray Show, Forbes, and WGN-TV, and in the Associated Press, The Huffington Post, Kiplinger's, LA Times, The Washington Post, among others.

  • Febuary 2010

    The 6 Most Controversial Celebrity Wills: Michael Jackson, Leona Helmsley, Princess Diana, and more. Who got the money? Who had the biggest family feuds? The mistakes that were made — and what we can learn from them. Danielle Mayoras: Get Them Jamming On Estate Planning - Putting affairs in order before it’s too late is important. Celebrity stories can help spring clients into action.