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What Can We Learn From the Bulgari Heirs?

Two of the three sisters and heirs of the Italian fashion company, Bulgari, have been fighting in thecourts for years over the family trust, estimated at $129M. The dispute is literally all over the place asone sister, Ilaria lives in Switzerland and the other sister, Veronica resides in Manhattan. The fight is so ugly, Veronica […]

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What Can We Learn From Johnny Hallyday?

Known as the Elvis Presley of France, Jean-Philippe Léo Smet, better known as Johnny Hallyday, died in 2017 with a heavily contested estate. Hallyday had a home in California, was a tax resident of California and had his (fourth) last will drafted in California. However, he was born in France, lived mostly in France and […]

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What Can We Learn From a Grandparent’s Lawsuit?

An Indian couple is suing their son, demanding that he and his wife produce either a grandchild within a year or pay them almost $940K. It turns out that the parents paid for their son’s wedding, luxury car, pilot training program and honeymoon abroad only to be rewarded by him NOT living with them and […]

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What Can We Learn From Leonard Cohen?

The singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist, Leonard Cohen died in November 7, 2016 with an estate plan that included a trust that was amended a few times. Just this week, his son and daughter, sued Cohen’s former manager Robert Kory in an attempt to remove him as the trustee of the trust. The kids are accusing […]

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What Can We Learn From David Brenner?

Stand-up comedian, author and actor, David Brenner passed in 2014 leaving behind a very funny lastwill. As to his burial instructions, he wrote, “I request a very modest burial, no fancy box, no pillow(you think at a time like this I’m worried about a headache?), no special suit (jeans and nice shirtwill be fine, but […]

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What Can We Learn From Gianni Versace?

Known as the King of Frock’n’Roll, Gianni died at the age of 50 in 1997 but created a last will only tenmonths before his passing. His last will left his 50% interest in the family $1B business to his then, 11- year-old niece, Allegra, daughter of his sister and business partner, Donatella. The one-page last […]

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What Can We Learn From the McDonald’s Heiresses?

This is a story about a trust fund set up by the late Albert Covelli (yes, of Youngstown), at one time one of the country’s largest McDonald’s franchise owners. After Albert’s death in 2014, Albert’s daughter, Annette and her attorney became the successor co-trustees of the trust. The challenge, in the Federal Cleveland court, comes […]

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What Can We Learn From Cher?

If she Could Turn Back Time (lol), I’m sure Cher would have changed a few things regarding her Malibu estate project. Cher purchased the vacant lot in 1989 with the hopes of building her lavish Italian-inspired villa, complete with tennis courts and sky-high security walls. The Malibu planning commission stalled the start of the build-out for five […]

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What Can We Learn From a Diamond Heiress?

In New Delhi, just this week, an eight-year-old girl, Devanshi Sanghvi, heiress to one of the oldestdiamond companies, has given up her worldly luxuries to become a monk, specifically Jain Sadhvi.The 8-year-old has always led a pious life and her family reports that she’s never watched TV or a movie and never ate in a […]

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What Can We Learn From Fairy Tales?

Do you believe in fairy tales? An Italian prince marries a woman from Texas (not me lol), makes her aprincess, and gives her a castle with art literally spilling out of its windows. The princess Rita JenretteBoncompagni Ludovisi, a former actress, Playboy model, ex-wife of a U.S. congressman and New York real estate broker, who […]

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Secure Your Health Decisions With a Health Care Proxy 

According to data cited by the AARP, 60% of American adults do not have a will, let alone any other estate planning documents. A well-crafted estate plan should be fully comprehensive. The process is about a lot more than simply deciding who gets to inherit what. Proper estate planning should take health needs into account. […]

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What Can We Learn From Janis Joplin?

Just two days before her untimely passing in 1970, Janis Joplin and her attorney made a few changes to her last will.  She left the bulk of her estate to her parents (and some to her siblings) but left $2,500 to be set aside “so my friends can get blasted after I’m gone.”  Her intention […]

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What Can We Learn From Chadwick Boseman?

Nearly two years after his passing in 2020, Chadwick Boseman’s $3.8M estate is going to be distributed to his beneficiaries.  The Black Panther actor did not establish a last will or trust and was survived by his wife (of a couple of months) and parents.   The wife and parents reached an amicable agreement that mirrored […]

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What Can We Learn From Marilyn Monroe?

Marilyn Monroe (fka Norma Jeane Baker) passed in 1962 with a brief 3-page last will leaving the bulk of her estate to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg.  Monroe did not have children and was married and divorced thrice (including to baseball Hall of Famer, Joe DiMaggio and legendary playwright, Arthur Miller).  At Lee Strasber’s passing […]

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What Can We Learn From Alexander Hamilton?

While sitting at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and enjoying the show, I couldn’t help but write this article in my head.  Yes, I’m a nerd LOL Hamilton was renowned in various aspects (Colonel in the Revolutionary War, General in the United States Army, Secretary of the Treasury, founder of The New York […]

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What Can We Learn From Meat Loaf?

Marvin (Michael) Lee Aday, aka Meat Loaf, passed away at the age of seventy-four with a net worth estimated at $40M. He was survived by his second wife, Deborah, and two daughters from his first marriage, Pearl and Amanda.  Pearl, his stepdaughter, was adopted by Meat Loaf when she was a young child.  The actor/singer’s […]

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What Can We Learn From Naomi Judd?

Country music singer Naomi Judd passed away on April 30, 2022.  Her last will was drawn up in 2017 and named her husband, musician Larry Strickland, as the executor of her estate.  The last will went on to give Larry “full authority and discretion” to do what he sees fit with properties within the estate, […]

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What Can We Learn From Farrah Fawcett & Ryan O’Neal?

This dispute centers around two identical pictures of Fawcett that Andy Warhol painted in the ‘80s.  When Fawcett passed in 2009, her last will stated that all of her artwork be left to my alma mater, the University of Texas (Hook ‘em Horns!).  However, the University only received ONE of the Warhol paintings as part […]

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What Can We Learn From Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston?

I love Brad Pitt, there I said it.  However, Jennifer Aniston, doesn’t seem to love him as much.  The couple divorced in 2005 and split up their assets including the production company, Plan B Entertainment, which the couple started in 2001.  Bradush (that’s what I call him) took over the company and produced a bunch […]

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What Can We Learn From Sex Clauses in Leases?

It happened in Las Vegas, where a lot of other things happen…that stay there, apparently.  Candy Torres sued her former landlord, real estate broker and property manager, Allan Rothstein, for violations of the federal Fair Housing Act, wrongful eviction, sexual harassment and deceptive trade practices. It’s alleged that Rothstein, when finding Torres an apartment as […]

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What Can We Learn From Gilligan’s Island’s Dawn Wells?

Dawn Wells, best known as the girl-next-door cast away, Mary Ann on the hit show Gilligan’s Island, passed away in 2020 at the age of 82. Wells’ last will included a unique clause regarding her personal belongings. Apparently, Wells left her personal belongings to her “friends and family” supervised by her named personal representatives. It looks as though […]

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What Can We Learn From Philip Seymour Hoffman?

An extremely talented actor, but not a great estate planner, Philip Seymour Hoffman, passed away in 2014 leaving behind a girlfriend and their three minor children.  In an effort to avoid “trust fund kids” and all that goes with the spoiling of the brats, he had his CPA draft a simple last will and left […]

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What Can We Learn from KFC’s Col Sanders?

The former Shelbyville, Kentucky home of KFC founder, Colonel Sanders has been on the market since June of 2022.  The home is being sold in bundle with a 63-year-old soul-food restaurant, the Claudia Sanders Dinner House.  The restaurant serves fried chicken, coleslaw, and homemade pies (mmmmm-mmmmm!). A few interested buyers considered the property and intended […]

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What Can We Learn From James Brown?

Sixteen years after the legendary singer James Brown’s passing, we have yet another dispute involving his estate.  In May of 2022, the South Carolina Supreme Court has upheld a circuit court decision ruling that a Adele Pope, a court-appointed former trustee, will NOT receive additional payment for her time as the trustee. It turns out […]

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