Tag Archives: estate planning book

LA Times article about estate planning

The business section of Sunday’s Los Angeles Times featured an article called “Time to prepare your will”.  Discussing the importance of estate planning, the article included quotes from both of us.  Here’s a few selections from the article:

If you’re rich, the best estate planning advice would be to die quickly. If you’re not, the best advice is to either review or rewrite your estate planning documents to make sure your heirs aren’t left high and dry if you die.


FOR THE RECORD: The Personal Finance column about estate planning in Sunday’s Business section misidentified the book “Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!” by Andrew W. Mayoras and Danielle B. Mayoras as “Trial & Errors: Famous Fortune Fights.” 


That’s because estate taxes that could allow Uncle Sam to nab up to 45% of your bequeathed assets are currently — and very temporarily — kaput. 

A decade-long phase-out of the estate tax eliminated the tax completely as of January. The catch: If nothing’s done, estate taxes will boomerang back to historic

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Motion Magazine book review of Trial and Heirs

Review of “Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights!” by Motion Magazine, part of LegalNews.com:

Anna Nicole Smith, Ray Charles, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson, Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger …  what do they all have in common?

They were all celebrities, they’re no longer among the living, and they all can teach us a lesson.

At least according to husband and wife legacy expert attorneys Andrew W. Mayoras and Danielle B. Mayoras, authors of “Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!” The book dishes out drama using celebrity cases to highlight the importance of proper estate planning.

The Mayorases compiled and researched these high-profile celebrity cases with Danielle, who specializes in estate planning education, taking on the title of “Queen of Heirs” while Andrew used his probate litigation experience as “King of Trials.”

Satisfying readers’ voyeuristic side with the engaging stories of celebrity heir in-fighting isn’t the book’s only draw.

Featured on The Rachael Ray Show, WGN Chicago, and Forbes.com, “Trial & Heirs” can be utilized by those seeking to spark the

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Dennis Hopper battling his wife; says she’s after his will

Dennis Hopper was already fighting against advanced prostrate cancer.  Now the 73-year-old actor is turning up the heat in his battle against his wife, 41-year-old Victoria.  He filed for divorce in January, and according to published reports, the key factor is his will.  

Victoria is a 25% beneficiary under Hopper’s will.  But, in the case of divorce, the couple’s prenuptial agreement says that she gets nothing.  And that’s the sole motivating factor behind the divorce, according to Victoria.  She blames his three children from a prior marriage and says that Dennis is not making rational decisions, due in large part to the medication he’s taking.

In other words, she says it’s all about the estate planning.

And it’s hard to argue with that point.  Dennis Hopper’s lawyer was in court last week, seeking a restraining order against Victoria to keep her away from him.  His attorney filed a doctor’s report saying that his estranged wife is hampering his recovery.  The doctor feels that the less he sees of her, the

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Kiplinger’s article: Cut the Lawyer out of your Will?

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine has an interesting article that’s coming out in the March 2010 issue, about do-it-yourself estate planning.  It was written by Jane Bennett Clark, Senior Associate Editor:

You’ve been dragging your feet for ages on writing a will and drawing up other estate-planning documents. Now, to avoid the hassle and expense of hiring a lawyer, you’re considering using online forms to get the job done. Companies such as Nolo, LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer allow you to do just that. Not only do they provide do-it-yourself estate-planning documents, but they also offer guidance on filling them out and general information on estate-planning issues.

The cost for such off-the-rack estate planning? As little as $50 for a simple will to $220 or so for a package that includes a will and a living trust. That’s cheap compared with the $300 a lawyer might charge for a simple will or the $1,000 or more that a comprehensive estate plan might run you. Still, you get what you pay for, says

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Heritage book review of Trial and Heirs

There was a great book review of Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights! that came out Friday.  Here’s a portion of it:

“If you do nothing else of consequence for your life in 2010, make a will.”

According to University of Michigan graduates Andrew and Danielle Mayoras, both attorneys, two-thirds of Americans don’t have one.

I do, and my editor has a trust, but an informal poll in the Heritage newsroom at an editorial meeting proved that of the nine people sitting there, two of us had a will.

And, truth be told, mine seriously needs updating.

Reading this book has compelled me to do something about it in a smarter way than I had done in the past.

The Detroit couple’s book, “Trial and Heirs,” will jump start you in the right direction, too. Not only is a fun read, but also an important one — one that should become the basis of family meetings everywhere.

You’ll learn why it’s important for everyone to do estate planning. According to

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Forbes: Get Them Jamming On Estate Planning

Danielle Mayoras, who co-authored Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights! with me, recently wrote an article for Forbes.com to help financial advisers, attorneys, and other professionals get their clients talking about estate planning, using celebrity stories.  Most people don’t like to even discuss the legal planning for what happens after they die, much less actually do the planning.

That’s why celebrity stories can help break the ice and get the conversation started.  Here’s her Forbes.com article with specific tips on how:

As professionals, one of the challenges that we have is motivating our clients to do their estate planning. You can educate clients about the proper estate planning and how it can help them, their families and their estate tax returns. The fact of the matter remains, however, that many clients will have excuses to push their legal planning to the back burner.

Reasons that you may have heard include being too busy with kids, jobs or parents to take the time to do the planning. Others may be uncomfortable

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