Tag Archives: heirs

Heirs of Superman Creators Battle Warner Bros and DC Comics

What would it be like if you had to fight Superman?  You may be thinking, “Superman is the hero, so why would he fight me?”  Work with us for a minute.  After all, when the concept of “Superman” was first developed, he was a villain and not a hero.

Imagine for a moment going mano-a-mano against the Man of Steel.  Just regular, mortal you against a brightly-garbed warrior who has super-strength, can fly, is faster than a speeding bullet, and has only one weakness.  It doesn’t sound like much fun.  It would seem rather hopeless … unless you had some Kryptonite in your back pocket.

The heirs of the two co-creators of the legendary comic book hero must feel just as hopeless at times in their fight over what they feel is “truth, justice and the American way.”  They have been battling the powerful media conglomerates, Warner Bros. and DC Comics, for many years in a series of (seemingly) never-ending lawsuits.  The heirs claim entitlement to full ownership of the Read more...

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Brittany Murphy Estate: she did update her estate plan, after all

Actress Brittany Murphy died tragically at age 32 a few months ago.  Within a day of her passing, celebrity website TMZ reported that Murphy failed to update her will after her marriage to Simon Monjack, her husband of 2 1/2 years.  Instead, her will left everything to her mother.  The Probate Lawyer Blog’s article about it reminded people that updating wills and trusts after important life changes, like a marriage, is very important . . .  even for 32-year olds.  Brittany Murphy Estate

TMZ is now reporting that, according to Monjack, the story wasn’t entirely accurate.  While she did have a prior handwritten will naming her mother as her beneficiary, Murphy did update her estate plan after her marriage, complete with a will and trust.  Monjack said he asked Murphy to include a provision stating “I am married to Simon Monjack who I have intentionally left out of this will.”

That provision was important because, without it, Monjack may still have inherited some of her assets as a “pretermitted spouse”.  By specifically mentioning

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Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy’s will revealed

The will of the late Senator Edward Kennedy was filed with a Massachusetts probate court late last week, providing a peek behind the curtain of the famed Kennedy family.  225px-Ted_Kennedy

Senator Edward Kennedy died on August 25, 2009, from brain cancer, at age 77.  He was survived by his wife of 17 years, Victoria, his three children, and two step-children.  Here is a copy of his will, courtesy of FOX TV in Boston:  Download Ted Kennedy’s will.

Kennedy’s will reveals that he did the important estate planning that most adults in this country would benefit from … he created a revocable living trust, The Edward M. Kennedy 2006 Trust.  His will directed that all of his assets pass into this trust.

The will states that the trust provides for his wife, three children, other relatives, and for payments of his debts and taxes.  It suggests he left nothing for his wife’s two children, Kennedy’s step-children.

As with other celebrities who died recently (such as Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett),

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Walter Cronkite will details released

Walter_Cronkite 2Readers of this blog know that one of the big drawbacks to relying on a will (instead of a trust) is that wills must pass through probate court and are public documents.  They can be read by anyone.

So anytime a celebrity dies without leaving all of his or her assets in a trust and/or joint tenancy, it gives the press something to write a story about.

The New York Post recently published an article about the final wishes of the late, great broadcaster Walter Cronkite who died on July 17, 2009 at age 92.  You can read it here.

Walter Cronkite will left most of assets (believed to be worth millions) to his children and aides from CBS.  His August, 2005 will excluded his girlfriend, Joanna Simon (sister of singer Carly Simon).  Reportedly, he was very generous to Simon during life, but didn’t want to name her in his will out of respect for his wife of nearly 65 years, who passed in 2005.

The best thing about

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Marlon Brando Estate wins victory on appeal

I previously covered the will contest filed against the Marlon Brando Estate by the ex-wife of Marlon’s deceased son, Christopher.  At the time, it appeared that the attorneys for Deborah Brando — on their third try — filed a sufficient legal challenge so that the probate judge would allow the case to proceed.  The judge threw out their first two tries.Marlon Brando as GF

Deborah claimed that the Codicil (or will amendment) dated less than two weeks before Brando’s death was actually forged, and that the co-executors of the Marlon Brando Estate committed fraud to hide the forgery.

But the co-executors filed a motion asking the judge — again — to dismiss the challenge.  This time, the judge agreed with them.  He ruled that the claim was filed too late.  The will and codicil were accepted into probate back in August, 2004.  Deborah’s lawyers had filed her claim (the first time) more than three years later.

The judge also ruled that Deborah lacked legal “standing” to make the challenge in court, because

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