Category Archives: Trial & Heirs: The Book

Top 10 Celebrity Stories To Spark Holiday Estate Planning Conversations

Sure the holidays are a fun time for families to sit around talking about what happened on walking deadthe latest episode of The Walking Dead or how granddaughter Mary is doing in dance class.  But they are also a great time to have the important — yet often difficult — conversations about estate planning.  What happens when Mom dies?  Does anyone know where Dad kept his will?  Did they ever transfer the investment accounts into their revocable living trust like they were supposed to?

Many families don’t ask these tough questions … especially when dynamics are strained, like in many second-marriage families or when siblings don’t get along well.  It certainly isn’t easy to blurt out after passing the gravy, “Hey Dad, does your will put me or your wife in charge of your estate?”

But these conversations are important.  When the proper estate planning isn’t done, it’s the family members left behind who pay the price, often with bitter, ugly, and costly probate court battles.  They happen to families all Read more...

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Celebrity Stories Are A Great Way To Start The Estate Planning Talk

MarketWatch.com recently featured an interesting article about the benefits that families gain by having the estate planning conversation early.  Not only does it improve family relationships, it helps sets the stage and prepares family members for facing the difficult issues caused by a loved one who ages or passes away.

The article noted how a UBS Wealth Management study recently found that only 43% of affluent Americans felt that having this conversation with their heirs was a pressing issue.  That’s surprising because experts predict that between now and the year 2050, the largest wealth transfer in U.S. history will occur:  a whopping 30 trillion dollars.

The problem is that having this conversation is seldom easy.  Who wants to sit around talking about legal and financial planning for when someone dies or becomes incapacitated?  Most family members are too busy with the stress of their daily work and personal routines to worry about talking to loved ones about death and dying.

While the MarketWatch article includes a couple suggestions, there is Read more...

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Harry, William Inherit Princess Diana Estate Amid Hard Questions

Prince Harry celebrated his 30th birthday earlier this week. His mother, the iconic Princess Diana, passed away over 17 years ago, following the tragic crash as Diana and Dodi Fayed sped away from paparazzi in France.  What was so special about Harry’s 30th birthday (other than the fact that he’s still single, to the delight of eligible women throughout England)?  That’s the day Harry became entitled to receive the remaining half of Princess Diana’s assets.

Prince HarryAfter Diana passed on August 31, 1997, her mother, Frances Ruth Shand Kydd, and her sister, Lady Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia McCorquodale, became executors of her Estate, based on Diana’s last will and testament dated June 1, 1993 (amended through a codicil in 1996).  The probate filings at the time showed that Diana left behind assets valued at around £21 million (or worth about 31.5 million in USD at the time), netting £17 million after inheritance taxes.  Originally, the will called for these assets to be held in trust for Diana’s sons, Princes William and Harry, Read more...

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Trial and Heirs Top Tips For The New Year

It’s the beginning of the year, which means that we all have well-intended New Year’s resolutions.  The diet, the exercise regimen, saving money…and finally doing our estate and financial planning.  The celebrity stories in Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights! can help motivate you to actually do your planning this year.  Really!

Here are some of our easy-to-use estate planning tips for the new year:

1.  Get your financial affairs organized this year.  Create an “asset” list, including the account numbers, names of financial institutions, and related information for your insurance, stocks, bonds, CDs, securities, bank accounts and other investments.

2.  Store your asset list and your estate planning documents in a fireproof box, safe, or safety deposit box.  Remember to make sure that your loved ones can find and access these documents!  We have an Estate Planning Organizer to help you with this.  Just email us at contact@trialandheirs.com if you want to learn more.

3.  Review and update your estate planning documents and your financial plan with your Read more...

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The Trial & Heirs Grow Your Business Club For Professionals

We’ve had financial planners, insurance agents, attorneys and accountants reach out to us and ask us for help, advice and information.  We designed our Trial & Heirs Grow Your Business Club in response to professionals just like you who have asked for our help.  The Club will help you use celebrity stories to make more money and dramatically improve your client relationships. 

These are some of the questions professionals have sent us, asking for our help:

Q: “After a while, I feel like I’ve presented on the same things over and over again and it gets boring.  I’ve talked about everything I could possibly think of.  Can you help me hook clients and prospects in and create revenue in a new way?”

A: Yes we can!  Celebrity stories are a great way to accomplish this because they are fun and fresh.  There is a constant stream of new material … which we will give you when you join our Club.  There will always be something new to talk to your Read more...

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Richard Pratt Estate: Australian Billionaire, Defeats Mistress In Court

Richard Pratt had a colorful life, until he died at age 74 on April 28, 2009.  A former professional Australian rules football player and stage actor, he inherited his father’s small cardboard business in 1969 and grew it into one of the world’s largest privately-owned recycling and packaging companies.

Pratt peaked on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires at number 321 in 2005.  Two years later, his fortune was valued by Forbes at $2.5 billion (in U.S. dollars).  His fortune declined from there, and Pratt eventually admitted to a massive price-fixing scheme, paying a record $33 million fine.  Pratt still managed to wind up as Australia’s fourth wealthiest person, leaving behind a $5.5 billion estate (in Australian dollars).

Richard Pratt estate: Mistress loses court battle

It was well known in Australian society that Pratt enjoyed the company of mistresses, one of whom gave birth to a daughter by Pratt in 1997.  But it’s another mistress who caused the biggest headache for Richard Pratt’s estate. Madison Ashton (also known as Christine Read more...

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Research Study Shows Professionals How To Grow Their Businesses

We’ve had so many financial and legal professionals contact us and ask how they can use our celebrity stories about estate planning to help their businesses.  In addressing this, we came across a fascinating research study that covers this very topic.  

It’s the “Economics of Loyalty” study, by Advisor Impact and sponsored by Vanguard.  It surveyed clients of financial planners to learn what differentiated clients who are merely satisfied from those who are engaged enough to make referrals.  It found that “engaged” clients made an average of 2.3 referrals, while those who were merely “satisfied” referred none.

The study also found another startling conclusion … there is almost no correlation between asking for referrals and receiving them. Rather, most clients made referrals to help their friends, co-workers and families members in need, not the professional.  In other words, to earn referrals and build your business, you have to show clients that you are able to provide a benefit to people they might refer to you.

How do you do this?  Read more...

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Trial & Heirs: Protect Your Family Fortune! Select Broadcast Schedule

While there too many broadcasts of our TV show to list them all, here are the major city PBS affiliates which are airing it with select air times (all times are as of the time zone of that city).
Check your local listings or with your local PBS affiliate for more information.  There are quite a number of other areas broadcasting the show too:
[Click here to learn more about the TV Special]
Amarillo (KENWDT2) – 12/6 @ 8:30 p.m.
Atlanta (WPBADT) – 11/16 @ 9:30 a.m., 11/27 @ 11:30 p.m., 12/1 @ 1:30 a.m., 12/6 at 3:00 a.m., 12/8 at 3:30 a.m.
Biloxi – Gulfport (WMAHDT2 & WMAHDT) – 11/27 @ 2:00 p.m., 11/28 @ 8:30 p.M., 12/5 @ 9:00 p.m.
Bluefield – Beckley (WSWPD, WSWPDT3, WVPBS1, & WVPBSDT) – 12/15 @8:00 p.m., 12/16 @ 12:00 a.m.

Boston – awaiting specific air dates and times
Champaign (WILLDT & WILLDT3) – 11/27/2011 @2:00 p.m, 11/30 @ 1:00 p.m., 12/2 @1:30 a.m., 12/3 @ 6:30p.m., 12/6 @ 9:30 p.m. Read more...

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Steve Jobs Appears To Have Protected His Estate With Living Trusts

Soon after the tragic news broke of the passing of Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and innovator extraordinaire, people began wondering what would become of his fortune.  Forbes recently estimated Jobs’ wealth at $7 billion.  

ABCNews.com recently interviewed Danielle Mayoras on this very topic.  It reported how Jobs, the largest single shareholder of Disney (which of course owns ABC News), has received $242 million in Disney stock dividends alone, since 2006.  How much is his Disney stock worth?  $4.4 billion, for 138 million shares, good for 7.4 percent of the total Disney stock.

As Danielle pointed out in the interview, usually people with that much wealth do the proper estate planning, including using living trusts, charitable bequests, and more.  Not only does this keep their affairs private, it can help minimize estate taxes.  Topping out at 35%, the current estate tax laws — while much lower than in years past — will obviously take a big bite out of Jobs’ family fortune.  That comes out to almost $2.45 billion in taxes, Read more...

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Trial & Heirs Segment Premieres on FOX 2

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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