We all know about the estates of Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith, right? But what about Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Heath Ledger, Elvis Presley, and John F. Kennedy, Jr.? This week, the Reelz Channel premiered a new television series called Celebrity Legacies. The documentary series explores a different celebrity each week, discussing their legacies, estates, and what they left behind: Feuding heirs? Mounting debt? Or a golden legacy glittered with fame and fortune?
The premiere episode delved into James Gandolfini. The late Soprano’s star died shockingly in 2013, leaving behind two young children — from two different marriages — and an estate plan that was, well, not exactly perfect.
We appear on each of the 26 episodes of Celebrity Legacies, providing legal and financial commentary and analysis. On the premiere, we talked about how James Gandolfini’s will was initially done as a Band-Aid measure, after his daughter was born. Instead of using a revocable living trust to keep his affairs private and outside of probate Read more...
Do you know a family who is arguing over an estate after a loved one has passed away? Whether it’s someone facing a possible probate court battle, wondering about contesting a will, or confused over how a family trust is being handled, finding an early solution before fighting erupts is critical.
Through the years, Danielle and Andy Mayoras have worked with too many families embroiled in estate and probate conflicts to count. As a result, they’ve started a new project based on their commitment to help families find resolutions outside of probate court and without spending money on attorneys.
Danielle and Andy are authors of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!, which uses true stories of celebrity estate errors to teach people how to protect their heirs. As Forbes contributors, Danielle and Andy regularly analyze celebrity stories to provide lessons for families across the country.
The husband-and-wife duo now wants to combine their legal expertise to help select families even more. Danielle is an estate planning and elder law Read more...
Danielle and Andy Mayoras will be appearing twice a month on FOX 2 News in Detroit, Michigan to discuss the latest celebrity will, trust and estate cases and what people can learn to protect their own family fortunes.
The premiere segment of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! included discussions of the Estates of Michael Jackson and Tony Curtis, as well as the shocking turn of events involving 94-year old Zsa Zsa Gabor:
Trial and Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights: MyFoxDETROIT.com
By Danielle and Andy Mayoras, co-authors of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!, husband-and-wife legacy expert attorneys, and hosts of the national television special, Trial & Heirs: Protect Your Family Fortune! For the latest celebrity and high-profile cases, with tips to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your clients, click here to subscribe to The Trial & Heirs Update. You can “like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
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Wow! What an amazing weekend we had! After months and months of preparation, this weekend we taped our television show, Trial & Heirs: Protect Your Family Fortune! Our show will premiere in Michigan on August 9th at 8 p.m. EST and air nationally in December. PBS will also stream the broadcast online through UStream.tv so that everyone would have an opportunity to view the premiere in August.
The taping included our show with a live studio audience (they were wonderful!), DVD extras from the two of us, and an interview with Ray Charles, Jr.
Ray shared some touching stories about his famous father as well as the private pain that his father’s estate has caused his family. Ray’s full interview, including some never-before-told stories, will be available as one of the DVD extras.
We share some behind-the-scenes pictures from our production on our Trial & Heirs Facebook page. If you’re not already a member of our Facebook page, make sure to “like” it so that you receive the latest Read more...
Danielle Mayoras was recently interviewed by Kim Vatis of NBC Chicago for her Smart Money finance feature:
If you think tax season is over, think again.
The Tax Relief Act of 2010 has changed the rules for estate taxes. And while Congress is giving families a gift, they need to act now and plan.
“2011 to 2013 is critical,” said estate planning attorney Danielle Mayoras. “Take advantage of the laws while we have them.”
How to Save Money on Moving
As of this year, the federal exemption for estate taxes is $5 million dollars, but that will go down to $1 million in 2013.
In Illinois, the exemption is just $2 million, meaning a lot more middle class families here could be affected.
“It’s not just the money in the bank,” reminded Mayoras.
Death benefits on life insurance, your 401ks and the fair market value on your home are all part of your estate and could add up to $2 million dollars quicker than you think, she explained.
Widely recognized as one of the best and most popular actresses of all times, Elizabeth Taylor’s death this week at the age of 79 caused great sadness throughout Hollywood — and indeed the whole world. Given her success, both on the screen and off, perhaps it should be no surprise that Elizabeth Taylor’s fortune has just been estimated to be worth as much as one billion dollars.
Why so much? Certainly movie royalties alone could not account for that kind of value in her estate. Instead, as ABC News recently reported, her perfume and other business ventures were groundbreaking and highly profitable.
The ABC News article also included portions of an interview with both of us, in which we addressed what one would expect in terms of estate planning for a person of such great wealth and fame. But, as we explained in the interview, there are many examples of wealthy Hollywood celebrities who pass away with very poor estate planning, or no planning at all.
Michael Jackson had Read more...
The Business Insider recently published an article featuring Trial & Heirs‘ Top 10 Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes. Here they are:
1. Jimi Hendrix’s Critical Error: Doing Nothing
If you do not plan your own estate while alive, you could end up like Jimi Hendrix and have someone that you barely knew controlling your legacy. Hendrix’s legacy was fought over in court more than 30 years after he died.
2. Justice Warren Burger’s Critical Error: Doing It Yourself
Former Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger created his own will with 176 words but he left out key provisions and his family paid the price.
3. Heath Ledger’s Critical Error: Not Updating
Heath Ledger never updated his will with the birth of his daughter, leading to chaos and family members fighting through the press.
4. Princess Diana’s Critical Error: Taking Shortcuts
Princess Diana used a “letter of wishes” leaving personal items to her godchildren instead of specifying her wishes in a will or trust.
5. Florence Griffith-Joyner’s (Flo Jo) Critical Error: Forgetting Read more...
Former baseball manager George “Sparky” Anderson, a Hall of Fame coach who led both the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds to World Series titles, died on November 4, 2010 because of complications from dementia. He was 76 years old. Sparky was a truly-beloved sports figure who will be sorely missed, as described in this article from the Detroit Free Press.
His death comes during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month. Dementia is most often caused by Alzheimer’s disease and is a growing epidemic in our country. In fact, every 70 seconds, someone else in America develops Alzheimer’s disease. It now affects over 5.3 million Americans.
When families have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, good estate planning becomes even more important. Often, people with early stages of dementia can still do the proper legal planning and protect their financial affairs.
Other times, seniors with Alzheimer’s or similar conditions are targeted by unscrupulous family members, caregivers, or others who improperly influence them to change their wills, trusts, Read more...