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Celebrities
On June 25th, famed NY Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham died at the age of 87. Cunningham is best known for his Times columns, On the Street and Evening Hours, which have been running for over 25 years.  Highly regarded by New York’s fashion elite, Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour told the Times “we...
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If the debacle of music legend Prince’s Estate doesn’t inspire you to get your Estate Plan in order, I don’t know what will.  With an estimated $300 million at stake, multiple family members and people claiming to be family members, Minnesota Judge Eide announced they were entering “uncharted territory.”  With no will yet to be...
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Sumner Redstone is a media mogul and billionaire. He is 93 years old, purported to suffer from dementia, and an acting trustee of a trust containing 80% of the voting stock in CBS Corp. and Viacom. In other words, despite his apparent mental decline, he still has control of billions of dollars. He is also...
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Mental Competence and Money are at the heart of countless lawsuits in the US today. While Sumner Redstone’s case involves considerably more money and media exposure than most, it bears strong resemblance to many of my past and present cases in the SF East Bay. In many instances, legal action can help to protect elderly...
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According to documents filed with the Minnesota Probate court this morning, it appears highly likely that music legend Prince died intestate. In other words, Prince had no will and no trust. This morning his sister Tyka filed a Petition for Formal Appointment of Special Administrator, requesting that Bremer Bank be appointed to administer the celebrity’s...
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Simpson’s co-creator Sam Simon died on March 8th, 2015 of colon cancer. When the 59 year old Hollywood legacy passed away, his net worth was estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Despite the fact that Mr. Simon diligently set up a complete estate plan, he made several promises before his death...
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Many celebrities have failed to properly execute their estate plans, or do any estate planning at all for that matter. James Brown’s estate is still under litigation due to his vague and poorly written will, James Gandolfini and Philip Seymour Hoffman paid millions in estate taxes that could have easily been avoided, and Howard Hughes...
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Reports are circling that the Playboy Mansion is about to go up for sale. According to celebrity gossip site TMZ, Playboy Enterprises, who owns the mansion – will attach an asking price of nearly $200 million to the historic house. Real estate pros in the area say the famous home is not nearly worth that...
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Casey Kasem was the voice of Shaggy on TV’s cartoon Scooby-Doo Just after Thanksgiving, Casey Kasem’s brother and his three children filed a lawsuit against Casey’s widow, Jean Kasem. The lawsuit accuses Jean of elder abuse and attributes Kasem’s death specifically to “Jean’s neglect and physical abuse.” The relatives are also seeking over $250,000 in...
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For those of you who followed the Donald Sterling saga last year, you may be satisfied to hear that Mr. Sterling recently lost his appeal to the 2nd District Court of Appeals in November of this year. The court’s ruling confirmed that Mr. Sterling will never again have rights to the Clippers basketball team. Before...
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Tragedies in life, and in death, are all too common among celebrities. But there are some celebrity tragedies that continued even past the celebrities’ deaths. Naturally, their families and friends mourned their loss, but I’m not talking about personal tragedies. I’m speaking about Estate Planning tragedies. Whether they botched their will, handed over their trust to...
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Speaking out publicly for the first time since her husband’s death in 2014, Susan Schneider Williams, wife of actor Robin Williams, revealed that the coroner’s report revealed Robin had Lewy Body Dementia. Lewy Body Dementia is a fairly common form of dementia, affecting nearly 1.4 million Americans. However, it is much harder to diagnose, as...
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While almost everyone has heard of Duke University, many are not familiar with the family who gave the prestigious school its name – in particular, the infamous heiress Doris Duke. For those of you who have not heard the name, or may need a reminder, Doris Duke was the daughter of tobacco industry titan James...
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In March I wrote a post about the estate litigation involving Robin Williams’ children with his 3rd wife, Susan Schneider Williams. The lawsuit was initially filed by Susan just a few months after Williams committed suicide in August of 2014 in his Tiburon, CA home. According to the NY Times, Susan claimed she was not...
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As the era of “Mad Men” came to a close on May 17th, errors abounded. The obvious misrepresentation came at the end when we were led to believe that Don Draper came up with the revolutionary Coca-Cola ad. I regret to inform many of you, that in fact, he did not. However, this was not the...
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On Friday, May 8th, the LA Times announced that Bobbi Brown and Pat Houston were granted guardianship over Bobbi Kristina “Krissi” Brown. Guardianship of an adult is synonymous with the term “conservatorship,” and in this case refers to conservatorship of the person – or legal rights in regard to the care and medical decisions of...
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According to the New York Times, Robin Williams had indeed carefully laid out plans for his death. He had two separate trusts – one containing his wealth and entrusted to his children, and another containing the house in Tiburon and its “contents”, for his current (and third) wife. Despite his carefully laid out plans, there...
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