Not many people — even celebrities — can claim a record as impressive as the Kim Kardashian divorce with Kris Humphries. The marriage: 72 days. The divorce: 536 days. But, it’s finally over.
And according to reports, it was Kris Humphries who caved at the last minute to settle the case, just weeks ahead of the May 6 trial date. Per TMZ, Humphries had been demanding either an annulment based on fraud or a $7 million pay-out.
So why the change of heart for Humphries? For one, it’s seldom easy to prove a case of fraud in court. It’s easy to claim fraud, but in divorce, civil, and probate cases alike, actually finding the goods to prove fraud is not easy. Humphries’ lawyers tried, conducting many depositions and digging through extensive records. Reportedly, they did not find enough proof that Kim Kardashian tricked Humphries into the marriage or staged it only for publicity.
Kim Kardashian Divorce Settlement
ABC News published an interesting story about a key deposition from the Read more...
Jury selection began yesterday for the Michael Jackson death trial. It’s the trial of Katherine Jackson and Michael’s children against concert promoter AEG Live. The Jackson heirs reportedly will ask the jury for $40 billion in damages against AEG Live. They blame the company for Dr. Conrad Murray’s ill-fated propofol treatment of the late King of Pop.
What is the Michael Jackson death trial really about? Can the concert promoter be held legally responsible for Dr. Murray’ criminal mistreatment of Michael Jackson?
The answers are complicated and will be sorted out over the course of the next two to three months in front of a Los Angeles jury. The trial will turn on two key questions: Did AEG Live “hire” Dr. Murray to treat Michael Jackson, and if so, was it foreseeable to AEG that Dr. Murray could overdose Michael? If the jury determines that the answer to both questions is yes, then it would then have to determine how much blame should be laid at the feet of AEG Read more...
Family fights over wills, trusts and estates are far too common, not only in our country, but elsewhere. Sometimes, those fights reach a whole new level. This has certainly been the case with a tragic story from Panama which harmed those most in need … millions of impoverished and starving children.
A Florida attorney, Richard Lehman, takes center stage in the dispute. He recently sued political officials throughout Panama — including three Supreme Court judges — charging corruption, bribery, theft, and much more. The fight involves the estate of Lehman’s former friend and client, Wilson Lucom.
When he died in June of 2006 at the age of 88, Lucom was an expatriate American living in Panama. One year before he died, Lucom signed a will generously leaving the majority of his $50 million fortune to a trust fund to benefit the poor and needy children of Panama. That fortune includes ocean-front real estate which has appreciated in value, so that Lucom’s estate is now valued at more than $150 million. Read more...
Celebrities are not the only ones to make mistakes with their estate planning. It happens to people all across the country on a regular basis. The end result — just like with the rich and famous — often is an ugly and expensive family fight in court. One of the most common estate planning mistakes that people make is joint ownership.
For the most part, we’re not talking about when a husband and wife have joint bank accounts or the title to their home is held in both of their names. While not ideal for estate planning, this is quite common and can often be used without problems, except in many second-marriage situations or large estates that may suffer adverse tax consequences.
The area where we see significant problems, however, is when a parent adds a child’s name to an asset, such as a bank account, investment, or real estate. This is often done to help with bill paying, as a will-substitute to avoid probate court (often called a “poor-man’s Read more...
The interesting case of a wealthy Michigan lumber baron who died in 1919 highlights how creative someone can be when using a trust in estate planning.
Wellington R. Burt did not want his children, or even his grandchildren, to inherit his wealth, which is now worth around $100 million. So he created an unusual trust, which is described in this article from ABCNews.com:
The descendants of Wellington R. Burt, who became fabulously wealthy in the age of the robber barons, will finally inherit his fortune — 92 years after his death.
Burt, who died in 1919 at age 87 in Saginaw, Mich., made his wealth in the lumber and iron industries. For reasons not described in his will, he stipulated that the majority of his fortune would be distributed 21 years after his last surviving grandchild’s death.
That granddaughter died in 1989. Now 12 descendants will split the fortune, estimated at $100 million to $110 million.
“I don’t think we’ll ever know exactly what it was that ticked him off