I Love Lucy star Lucille Ball died more than 20 years ago — on April 26, 1989, at the age of 77. So why did her daughter rush to court last week to save awards, love letters and other personal items of the famous comedienne?
Reportedly, when Lucille passed, she left love letters between she and her first husband, Desi Arnaz, along with her lifetime achievement awards, photographs and other items to Lucille and Desi’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill. But, apparently, Luckinbill never claimed the items from Lucille’s estate and lost them.
So they ended up in the hands of Susie Morton. Morton is the widow of Gary Morton, who was Lucille Ball’s second husband. After Lucille passed, these items, along with a Rolls-Royce, were passed to Gary Morton, and then onto Susie after Gary died.
Susie Morton placed the items up for sale at a Beverly Hills, California auction house, with the sale set to start this past Saturday, July 17, 2010. When Luckinbill’s attorney threatened legal action to Read more...
It’s been just over a year since Steve McNair, the former NFL quarterback, was murdered on July 4, 2009, at the age of 36. The Probate Lawyer Blog covered the initial drama surrounding Steve McNair estate in a series of articles. In the months that have passed since then, the estate has been relatively quiet. It’s been rather surprising given the early fireworks last summer.
McNair died with an estate worth more than $19 million but without even a basic will. It looked like trouble initially when his wife named their two kids as estate beneficiaries in the probate paperwork, but failed to list his other two kids (from two other mothers). The family was far from harmonious even before McNair was killed.
McNair and his wife, Mechelle, had hired an artist to paint a family portrait. The artist hadn’t been paid and filed a claim against the estate. Before the estate settled and paid the artist $5,000, she revealed an email from McNair. He wrote that his “wife Read more...
William Davidson and Melvin Simon had a lot in common. Both were billionaires and both were Jewish. Simon built his fortune through the country’s biggest shopping mall company, Simon Property Group, and Forbes estimated his net worth at $1.3 billion. Davidson led Guardian Industries Corp., one of the world’s largest glass suppliers, and had a fortune recently tabbed at $4.5 billion.
They also each owned NBA franchises in the midwest. Davidson owned the Detroit Pistons (yeah!), while Simon co-owned the rival Indiana Pacers (boo!) with his brother, Herbert Simon.
Both men died last year, with Davidson passing away at age 86 in March and Simon passing in October, at age 82. And both were survived by spouses as well as children from prior marriages.
And, in both instances, the spouse and the children from the prior marriage did not see eye to eye. Because of that, both the Davidson Estate and Simon Estate are mired in lawsuits about the true wishes of the beloved billionaires.
In Davidson’s case, there are Read more...
Danielle Mayoras was recently quoted in this interesting article by the Detroit Free Press about the growing epidemic of exploitation of the elderly. It discussed a very sad case where a daughter took hundreds of thousands of dollars from her elderly mother and now is in jail saying the money is gone and she can’t return it.
This is one example of how more and more families are facing the devastation caused by exploitation of elderly loved ones, often by a family member or caregiver.
So how do families protect their golden seniors, whose lifetime of savings can often be a tempting target for desperate or unethical people? There are no magic answers, but here are a few Trial & Heirs Tips that we provided to the Detroit Free Press which ran next to the newspaper story:
1. Get expert advice. Consider consulting an estate lawyer who will know the ins and outs of estate planning. It’s usually money well spent.
2. Beware of Joint Accounts. When you add Read more...
It’s been seven months since the King of Pop died suddenly at the age of 50, and fights surrounding his estate seem like they may last for many years to come. Creditors are coming out of the woodwork, with new ones surfacing on a weekly basis. The latest, a management company, joins a series of business, medical and spiritual advisers and others who insist they are owed money, totaling more than $20 million, already. That total will certainly climb.
The estate co-executors, John Branca and John McClain, have to sort through the requests for money and try to determine the legitimate ones from the ones that are, well, more fiction than fact. It’s common when someone wealthy and eccentric passes to have all sorts of people saying they are entitled to money. (Jerry Garcia, James Brown, and Marlon Brando are a few notable examples that we cover in Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!).
One of the more interesting requests is from Michael’s father, Joe Jackson, who wants $15,000 Read more...
Who got the money? Who had the biggest family feuds? The mistakes that were made — and what we can learn from them. Two legal experts in estate planning and the authors of Trial & Heirs have the scoop.
If the recent and sudden death of Michael Jackson taught us something – other than the side effects of too much prescription medication – it’s the importance of a will or trust. Wills and trusts are taboo topics. We’re usually far more inclined to talk about Botox injections or mammograms than how we plan to divide our assets. But (and sorry for speaking so morbidly) once you’re dead, it’ll be far too late to finally address it. That’s why regardless of your age and health (Jackson was 50 and about to go on tour), it’s important to have a proper will — not just for your peace of mind, but for your family’s peace of mind too.
In addition to the King of Pop’s highly publicized estate battles, here’s a glimpse Read more...