Blog Category

Florida Law

What Can We Learn From Joan Rivers?

When legendary Joan Rivers died in 2014, she left her daughter Melissa a gorgeous estate plan, complete with a proper trust, living will and healthcare proxy. Joan’s detailed and meticulously prepared estate plan allowed Melissa to make difficult decisions as to Joan’s end of life wishes as well as inherit the majority of her mother’s fortune […]

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What Can We Learn From the Wizard of Oz?

The original blue gingham (love that word) dress worn by Judy Garland’s character, Dorothy, in the 1939 movie the Wizard of Oz, is causing quite a stir. Gifted to Reverend Gilbert Hartke, founder of The Catholic University of America’s Department of Speech and Drama, in the early 1970s, it was thought to have been lost after […]

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What Can We Learn From Poet Heinrich “Henry” Heine?

At his passing in 1856, poet and funnyman Heinrich “Henry” Heine left behind not only a last will but one final insult his wife. Henry left his entire estate to his wife, Matilda, in 1856 on the condition that she remarry, so that “there will be at least one man to regret my death.” Is it […]

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What Can We Learn From A Broke Heiress?

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, comes the tale of the broke heiress. Clare Brown, a 26-year-old Australian woman, was left $12M by her late father via a trust. To access her fortune, the trust terms require her (1) to get a permanent job and (2) “contribute something to society.” Vague, but we get the […]

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What Can We Learn From Google Co-Founder, Sergey Brin?

Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google and is worth $94 billion, has hired a California private “temporary judge” to preside over his divorce from his wife of three years, Nicole Shanahan. The private judge will allow the couple to expedite their divorce through backlogged courts as well as provide a higher level of privacy. So, is this […]

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What Can We Learn From Liza Minnelli?

Liza Minnelli’s childhood home has a story worthy of this blog.  Built in 1925 the Beverly Hills mansion was purchased in the mid-1950s by Liza’s father, Oscar-winning director Vincente Minnelli, following his divorce from Judy Garland. During her childhood, the former couple’s daughter, Liza, spent much of her time at the house. Liza’s father, at his passing […]

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What Can We Learn From NeNe Leakes?

Former Real Housewives of Atlanta, Linnethia Leaks, aka NeNe, has found herself in a legal dispute à la Ally McBeal (yes, I’m old and so are my references!).  In a North Carolina court, Malomine Tehmeh-Sioh is suing NeNe for $100K due to emotional stress and alienation of affection.  In short, NeNe is accused of sleeping with […]

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What Can We Learn From Country Music Star Billy Joe Shaver?

Now, y’all know I’m from Texas, so a little country music gossip makes total sense. Turns out, Country music songwriter Billy Joe Shaver died on October 2020 with several last wills floating around. Shaver, who was married five times to two women(!), drafted a will in 2000 that named his sister, Patricia, as executrix and left […]

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What Can We Learn From Wendy Williams?

Daytime talk show host and fellow Bravo-aholic, Wendy Williams, has been going-through-it lately. She’s been in Court fighting with her bank, Wells Fargo. Williams sued the bank claiming they falsely froze her accounts after her former financial advisor raised concerns of potential “financial exploitation.” Williams demanded that the bank allow her to access her funds, but […]

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What Can We Learn From Albert Einstein?

A lot! There’s even a lesson for us regarding estate planning. Einstein died in 1955 with a complete New Jersey estate plan (for those times).  In his last will, he bequeathed (love that word!) his “manuscripts, copyrights, publication rights, royalties … and all other literary property” to his sister and assistant, and then after their passing, […]

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What Can We Learn From The Cars Lead Singer?

Ric Ocasek, lead singer of The Cars and successful record producer, married Sport Illustrated swimsuit model, Paulina Porizkova, in 1989. When Ocasek passed away on September 15, 2019, it was Porizkova who discovered his body in the home they still shared, even though they started divorce proceedings in May of 2018. It turns out that Ocasek […]

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What Can We Learn From Monty Python?

The Monty Python star, Terry Jones’ two children launched a legal battle against his second wife, alleging he lacked ‘mental capacity’ when he wrote his last will and left her their £2.8m London home before dying from dementia. The Welsh-born comedian passed away last year at the age of 77, nine years after his second marriage […]

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What Can We Learn From Kim Kardashian…. Again?

Kim Kardashian is embroiled in a dispute with her neighbor over a new driveway. Kim’s neighbor, who cares what her name is LOL, filed a California injunction to stop Kim from building the access road on a strip of land Key claims she owns. The disgruntled neighbor accuses Kimmy of wanting a special driveway that gives her […]

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What Can We Learn From Kelly Clarkson?

Did we even know that Kelly Clarkson was married to Reba McEntire’s former stepson, Brandon Blackstock? I love this country-western singer dynasty….well, they’re divorcing. And, it’s messy. Clarkson filed for divorce in June of 2020, citing irreconcilable differences which seemed to have continued afterwards LOL. The two have contested everything, from assets to their prenuptial […]

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What Can We Learn From Cinderella?

Cinderella (Amazon Prime) got a makeover and the 2021 girl-boss movie got me thinking, what would have happened if the story took place in sunny Florida? I’m doing the Lord’s work here, people LOL. Get comfortable, we’re going to apply our Florida homestead laws to the Cinderella fairy tale! Avid readers of this blog (I […]

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What Can We Learn From James Bond?

I’m not sure what’s hotter, Daniel Craig climbing out of an ocean in his trunks or him discussing his estate plan LOL. It’s a great time to be alive, we get both! The highest-paid actor of 2021, Craig has a record-breaking deal with Netflix to star in two sequels to the comedic mystery hit, Knives […]

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What Can We Learn From Anderson .Paak’s Tattoo?

Anderson .Paak is a 35 year old, seemingly healthy, Grammy-winning rapper/singer, which is why his recent Instagram post showing off a wordy tattoo regarding his death made some noise. Placed under a tattoo of Animal, the Muppet, the new tattoo reads, “When I’m gone please don’t release any posthumous albums or songs with my name […]

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What Can We Learn From Sex NDAs?

These days, if you want to hook up with a celebrity, you better have your attorney on the ready to review the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) standing between you and night of romance. High profile men and women alike are requesting their paramours to sign NDAs intended to protect the celebrity and silence their lovers as […]

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What Can We Learn From Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck?

Bennifer is BACK! Are you as excited as I am? Lopez is rumored to be relocating her home base to the West Coast to be closer to Affleck, but don’t worry Lopez’s ex-fiancé Alex Rodriguez remains in Miami……and single LOL. So, what can we learn from Lopez and Affleck, these on-again-off-again love birds? The State […]

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What Can We Learn From Mariah Carey’s Litigation?

It can’t be easy to have a famous sibling. Both Mariah Carey’s brother, Morgan Carey, and her sister, Alison Carey, have filed lawsuits against Mariah arising from her memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. The pop-star’s brother alleges “defamation and the intentional infliction of emotional distress” and her sister states that the novel included “cruel […]

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Kim, Kanye and Life Insurance, What Can We Learn From These Two?

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are fighting (again, sigh). What happens when they divorce, they’re Florida residents and Kanye’s too busy taking over the world and forgets to remove Kim as his beneficiary on his life insurance? According to Florida law, Kim, as the former spouse is not entitled to the benefits. Section 732.703 states […]

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It May Pay to Get Cheated On

Reminiscent of an Ally McBeal episode, just a few weeks ago, a North Carolina man sued his ex-wife’s lover and was awarded $750,000. The man, Robert Kevin Howard, relied on an old English law from the 1800s, rooted in the idea that a wife is her husband’s property (LOL) and therefore, he can sue anyone […]

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Sometimes They Get It Right – Florida Open Permit Law Changes

Last month, the Florida statute has been amended to provide a clearer process for property owners to close out old, expired permits. There are several noteworthy provisions; the statute now (1) allows an owner to hire a new contractor to finish the work without liability for the original contractor’s work, (2) allows an owner to […]

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To Be or Not to Be – Assisted Suicide aka Death with Dignity

America is such a large country; it makes sense to me that the individual states differ. We even have a name for when state and federal laws disagree called the supremacy clause, which is part of article VI of the Constitution. When we think of state laws and the differences between the states, we usually consider […]

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