There’s nothing like a hit song to keep heirs dancing down the road to the bank — even when that song wasn’t written, composed, or sung by the celebrity singer who died.
The heirs of Marvin Gaye hit it big with a judgment against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement based on their chart-topping song Blurred Lines … but will the victory stand up on appeal? And what exactly does this mean for the Marvin Gaye Estate?
This is installment #13 of our Estate Planning Lessons From The Stars series, which is based on the Celebrity Legacies TV show for which we provide commentary as the estate legal experts. See other articles in the series here.
The Court Gets Involved With Marvin Gaye’s Estate
Marvin Gaye’s life ended in tragedy. Then the courts got involved.
Posted by ReelzChannel on Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his own father in 1984, at only 44 years of age. He left behind a golden Read more...
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...
The Friends of the Barnes Foundation group is mounting a last-ditch effort to try to reverse the fate of one of the most valuable private art collections ever assembled.
The late Dr. Albert Barnes gathered together unmatched works of post-impressionist art, including paintings by Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso, Monet and other masters. It has not only been widely recognized as the greatest collection of its kind, but it’s been valued at more than 25 billion dollars.
Dr. Barnes created a very detailed Trust to maintain the collection in a private facility apart from the commercial art “elite,” which he despised. Given the extraordinary value of the collection — both monetarily and artistically — perhaps it should be no surprise that the art elite of Philadelphia have done everything they can to get their hands on the collection.
In fact, Dr. Barnes’ Trust has been the subject of many years of litigation, which has steadily chipped away at Dr. Barnes’ detailed instructions for how his art gallery was to be managed. Read more...
Walt Disney World is a great vacation spot and a wonderful way to spend the holidays. We just returned from there with our three children. So it’s ironic that we recently learned about a messy court fight involving two of Disney’s grandchildren and their share of the massive Disney fortune.
Disney passed in 1966 at the age of 65. He left behind two daughters and 10 grandchildren. One of his two daughters, Sharon Mae Disney, had married and then divorced a real estate developer named Bill Lund. Lund was the man who located and helped select Orlando, Florida as the site for Disney World. Sharon and Bill had twins, born in 1970, named Michelle and Brad.
Sharon created trusts to pass on her share of the Disney fortune to her three children (her other child was from a prior marriage). Under the trusts, the twins were entitled to substantial distributions.
How substantial? In additional to yearly distributions of around one million dollars, they can each receive larger amounts, every 5 Read more...
Michael Jackson’s father, Joe Jackson, just won’t stop pursuing claims involving his late son’s estate, even though judges keep telling him to . . . [wait for it] . . . Beat It!
Joe Jackson’s efforts to have the administrators of the King of Pop’s estate removed in court have failed. Here’s our last article discussing his failed attempts. The probate judge ruled he didn’t have legal “standing” (meaning the right to bring the claim in court) to fight against the executors because he was not a beneficiary. In other words, because he wouldn’t inherit anything, it wasn’t his right to complain about what the executors were doing.
Joe Jackson Files Lawsuit Video
So, of course, Joe appealed. The Court of Appeals has recently upheld the ruling of the probate judge and agreed that Joe had no claim. So, he’s most likely out of luck with that claim.
But, wait, he has more! Or does he? Joe had filed a claim seeking $500 million dollars against Dr. Conrad Murray, AEG, Read more...
It has to rank as one of the craziest, lengthiest and most-watched probate litigation court cases of all time. It officially started as Vicki Lynn Marshall (a/k/a Anna Nicole Smith) vs. E. Pierce Marshall (son and sole beneficiary of the late oil tycoon, J. Howard Marshall).
Originally, the Smith team won an $88 million against her “step-son”, Pierce, but that victory was taken away by the Court of Appeals, which ended the fight. That is, it was over until the United States Supreme Court ruled in Smith’s favor and reinstated the case.
Then Pierce died, followed by Anna Nicole Smith. But, just because they both passed away doesn’t mean the fighting stopped! Their two estates have continued to battle over the billions left behind by Smith’s 90-year-old husband, 15 years after he died.
Then, this past March, the Court of Appeals again threw out the case (on a different legal ground). Once again Smith’s estate, with the infamous Howard K. Stern at the helm, asked the Supreme Court to step Read more...