Blog Category

Wills

What Can We Learn From Lou Reed?

A singer and songwriter with a long and successful musical career, Lou Reed died with a gorgeous New York Last Will. We know all of this because last wills are filed with the Probate Court, which makes them public. We, the general public, when there is a probate (and a last will is produced) can access the […]

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What Can We Learn From Ed Sheeran?

Earlier this week, Ed Sheeran let it slip that he’s building a burial chamber on his Suffolk estate, which he refers to as “Sheeran-ville”.  The morbid addition to the Bad Habit singer’s home will be located in a church that is currently being constructed on his property. As we can imagine, the extensive renovations and additions […]

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What Can We Learn From Lucille Ball?

Being the Ricardos is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, starring Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball…”Lucy! I’m home!” Our lesson, however, is regarding Lucille Ball’s estate plan. Lucille Ball passed away on April 26, 1989, leaving a second husband (actor Gary Morton) and two children (Lucie and Desi Arnaz Jr.) from her marriage to Desi […]

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What Can We Learn From Crypto Reality TV?

As reality TV takes over the world (or is that just me projecting?), we find ourselves discussing a South Korean reality television show that focuses on crypto investors, bitcoin (BTC) enthusiasts and miners. So, this begs the question; what can we learn from crypto TV? Despite its name, cryptocurrency is not treated like bank accounts, […]

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What Can We Learn From Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos, passed away this year after a tragic accident at the age of 46. Worth around $850 million dollars at his death, Tony has become well-known for the critical mistakes he made in his estate planning. It turns out Tony died without a will (of course!) and instead left “thousands” […]

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What can we learn from Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant was not only a famous basketball player, but also a businessman, brand-builder, and investor. I wasn’t surprised to learn that he had a well drafted estate plan prior to his untimely death at the age of 41. Kobe had a trust to protect his assets, reduced estate-tax liability, and pass his wealth to […]

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What Can We Learn From Larry King?

One of pop-culture’s favorite newsmen, Larry King lived a colorful life (married 8 times!!) and his estate is proving to be just as exciting (Well, at least for me, lol). It turns out that he scribbled down a few sentences during his last divorce. As every reader of this blog already knows, a handwritten last […]

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What Can We Learn From Utah’s Reality?

There’s so much going on in the world, including a new Real Housewives franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah. Missed the premier? No worries, I’ll fill you in. This story started in 1961, when Rosemary “Mama” Cosby felt a call to preach and set out with her four small children by foot from Indianapolis to […]

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What Can We Learn From Carole Baskin’s Probate Problems?

If you haven’t wondered at least once this year, “Did Carole Baskin kill her husband?” we need to talk. In the Netflix show, “Tiger King,” we were all introduced to the world of big-cat lovers featuring Joe Exotic and his arch-nemesis, Carole Baskin. (For real, if you haven’t seen this show yet, do yourself a […]

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Why Estate Planning Matters During Coronavirus and What You Can Do to Prepare

The outbreak of Coronavirus has people all over the world thinking about their advanced directives. While this topic is generally annoying to think about (adulting is annoying) and even more annoying to discuss with your loved ones, estate planning is now more than ever a critical tool that can be used to assure that your […]

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You’re out of My Will and You Know Why

I’m just kidding, you have no idea why.   I did just see that clause in a Will this week and wanted to share with my friends.  LOL Regardless…. I’d like to give an update on our operations and our commitment to service in these crazy times. As always, we are dedicated to ensuring a safe […]

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Breaking News – Aretha Franklin Had Three Wills

Hang on to your hats people, Aretha Franklin had THREE Wills! If you recall, I recently wrote an especially titillating article about how the Queen of Soul passed away intestate, without a will or trust. Come to find out that she had drafted three handwritten wills, recently discovered in her Michigan home. And because we love to […]

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Here We Go Again(ish) – What Can We Learn from John Singleton’s Estate?

The Boys N’ The Hood director passed away on Monday, April 29, 2019 with an estate estimated at $35M and a Will from 1993.  Although a Will doesn’t expire, an outdated Will is almost (not quite) as bad as not having a Will. Singleton is survived by seven children, however, only his first-born child, Justice, […]

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Who’s Your Daddy?

What happens when a self-made millionaire leaves most of his fortune to his son, only for a paternity test to reveal there was no biological relation between the two men? Elis Gosta Hjukstrom died of cancer in 2017 at the age of 87, leaving a Canadian import and distribution business and a Swedish family estate.  […]

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When Disinheritance Is a Good Thing – the Last Will and Testament of Burt Reynolds

Hollywood star Burt Reynolds intentionally left his son, Quinton, out of his will, but it doesn’t appear to be due to bad blood.  The actor known for his roles in “Smokey and the Bandit”, “Deliverance” and “Boogie Nights,” provided for his 30-year-old son via a trust. “Disinherited” is a word you don’t want to hear, […]

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What Can Be Learned from Mac Miller’s Estate Plan

Malcolm McCormick, known and adored by fans as Mac Miller, the rap artist, passed away on September 7 with an estate estimated at 14 million dollars.  The 26-year-old rapper set up both a trust and a will in 2013!   I know, this information is enough for anarticle these days!! But there’s more…as expected, he named […]

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Law and Wills – Celebrity Victims Unit

In the estate planning process, beneficiary designation mistakes are considered especially costly.  In Florida, dedicated attorneys who handle wills, trusts and probate matters are members of an elite squad known as estate planning attorneys.  These are their stories.  Dun Dun. Couldn’t resist.  Below are a few of my favorite celebrities’ estate planning blunders and the […]

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What Can We Learn From Anthony Bourdain’s Estate Plan?

Anthony Bourdain not only loved to explore but also made it a point to inspire others to travel.  In his Last Will and Testament, he specifically bequeathed his frequent flyer miles to his wife and asked that she “dispose of [them] in accordance with what [she] believes to have been my wishes.” Although most loyalty […]

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A Text Message is No Substitute for a Will

It appears that a gentleman in Queensland, Australia, wrote out a text distributing his property to this brother and nephew and disinheriting his wife and son.  He ended the text with the words “my will” but never sent it.  A few hours after preparing the text, he tragically took his own life.  The text was […]

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Hugh Hefner: An Estate Planning Role Model

In case you haven’t heard, Hugh Hefner “Hef”, the publisher of Playboy Magazine, died last month, at the age of ninety-one. Although his Will was not made public, It’s clear that Hef took the necessary steps to ensure that his estate plan was iron clad. Hef is survived by his third wife Crystal Hefner and […]

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National Will Registry Is on the Way

Although Florida has adopted its own code provisions regarding the practice and procedure for admitting lost or destroyed Wills into probate (see Florida Probate Rule 5.510), a national Will registry is an exciting notion. The U.S. Will Registry (www.WillsUS.com) will allow individuals to find the location and holders of Last Wills and Testaments. The registry […]

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What’s Better, a Will or a Trust?

As an estate planning attorney, I’m often asked, “How do I know if I need a trust as opposed to a will?”  Many people assume that Trusts are just for the wealthy, but the benefits that they offer to the average person are significant.  Here are a few factors to consider when deciding between a […]

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Can You Disinherit Your Spouse?

I get asked this question a lot. The general rule is that in your Last Will and Testament, you can dictate who gets your property after your death. The surprising fact is that in Florida and New York you cannot intentionally disinherit your spouse unless he or she agrees in writing to be disinherited (through […]

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