July 30, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Estate Planning Mistakes Of The Rich And Famous: Part Two:

William K. Hayes, Attorney

Estate planning involves not only the planning of what happens to your assets after you die, but it also includes planning for the day to day and for what happens to you and your family in the event of your disability.

The following examples of celebrity estate planning catastrophes are not meant to showcase the problems that occur to the rich and famous.

These problems are illustrative of the types of problems, which can and do occur to the estates of working people in courtrooms throughout America.

Jimi Hendrix

He died without a will. For various reasons, Hendrix’s estate remained in court for over 34 years after he died. Recently dubbed the “world’s greatest guitarist” by Rolling Stone magazine, Hendrix would be twanging a sad tune if he could see what has happened to his family and estate over the years. The estate was managed by a California attorney for 20 years and was later taken over by Hendrix’s father.

The father has since passed leaving the estate to the daughter of his second wife, whom he had adopted. The irony is that this $80 million estate went to someone who Hendrix never knew and excluded a number of Jimi’s relatives despite their lifelong closeness to Hendrix.

If you don’t correctly plan, the assets which you’ve spent a lifetime accumulating can be easily lost to unintended persons.

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando’s housekeeper said Brando made oral promises of a home and continued employment, which led to two separate lawsuits after Brando’s death. She claimed Brando had always told her that she would be able to keep the home, which she had been living in for several years as a gift for her loyalty, but the promise was never put in writing. She was ultimately evicted from the home. She sued but only received a small settlement.

Oral promises will not get you very far because they can easily be contested.

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole was 39 years old when she died in February of 2007 due to an accidental overdose. Anna had not updated her 2001 will which named her son, Daniel, who had died of an accidental overdose several months earlier, as her sole heir. It is likely that the probate court will award her assets to her only surviving child, daughter Dannielynn.

As for her sought after share of billionaire husband J. Howard Marshall II’s estate who was 90 years old when he passed away, the case finally came to a close 15 years after it started. The case survived the death of both people who were fighting each other -– Anna Nicole Smith and her stepson. The case went all the way to the US Supreme Court where five of the justices ruled that a California lower court bankruptcy ruling was unconstitutional.

Despite having lost the case, Anna received about $8 million in gifts during the brief marriage that lasted just over a year.

Not everyone has your best interest at heart. Have your estate prepared to include protections against undue influence.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s three children had been fighting with each other in court over the control of his estate. Two of the three children had sued Dexter King, their brother, who had the legal authority to make decisions regarding the King Estate.

The King family fight included disagreements over a movie deal with Stephen Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studio and a $1.4 million book deal about their famous father’s life.

The three children settled and agreed to allow a neutral person to act as “temporary custodian” to manage the King estate.

So now a stranger will be left to make decisions about how to protect and uphold the all-important contribution of Martin Luther King, Jr.

If he had created a basic will before he died (or better yet, a revocable living trust), King could have hand-picked the person or people to manage his affairs and specified what role his children would play in preserving the civil rights icon’s legacy.

If you prepare a trust, consider including a special trustee to referee disputes and avoid costly litigation.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson created a trust that was all of 21 pages and it was never fully funded, defeating a primary purpose of having a trust. To be effective, title to assets have to be transferred to the trust or they may be deemed subject to the jurisdiction of the probate court.

Estimates of the value of this estate have ranged from Michael being heavily in debt to reports from Billboard magazine that the estate earned almost one billion dollars in the year after his death. The executor of his estate report that approximately $315 million was

earned in the year after Michael’s passing.

If Michael had had a more comprehensive trust, many of the issues that have resulted in ongoing disputes for his estate would have been avoided. In addition, costs to the estate could have been better controlled. Salary caps could have been established for the managers

of this estate. Instead, as a result of a recently signed contract with Sony, the estate executors will make $25 million on that single deal and there are many more deals to come.

It’s important that you take the time to plan the estate that you have spent a lifetime accumulating. There’s not much point in working to build the assets of your estate if you don’t put some time into making sure that the assets are protected for you and those whom you love and wish to assist.

William K. Hayes is a member of the prestigious American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. The Hayes Law Firm specializes in Trusts, Probate, and Asset Protection Planning. Please call to request a free seminar for your business or organization. You may contact attorney Hayes at 626.403.2292 or visit The Hayes Law Firm website at LosAngelesTrustLaw.com.

in News
Related Posts

City Council Prioritizes Housing for Historically Displaced Households

July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

At its meeting on July 13, Santa Monica City Council made changes to Santa Monica’s Affordable Housing Production Program and...

Homeless Man Charged with Hate Crime in Assault of Korean Woman in Santa Monica

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Melvin Taylor faces charges in connection to July 23 incident By Sam Catanzaro Hate crime charges have been filed against...

Homeless Advocate Arrested Near Shelter on Suspicion of Dealing Drugs, Claims no Wrongdoing

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

65-year-old Garry Featherstone accused of selling meth, PCP By Sam Catanzaro A self-described homeless outreach advocate was recently arrested near...

Off Leash Dog Park And Picnic Area Coming To Downtown Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Off Leash Dog Park And Picnic Area Coming To Downtown Santa...

Two Arrested for Main Street Bike Shop Burglary

July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021

Two suspects were arrested for the burglary of a Main Street bike store after the owner witnessed the crime via...

Council Selects Berkeley Deputy City Manager to Helm Santa Monica

July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021

David White to be Santa Monica’s next City Manager starting in October  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica City Council has...

Ocean Park Library Set to Reopen

July 20, 2021

July 20, 2021

New self-service hours begin July 28 By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Public Library’s Ocean Park Branch is set to...

Police Tase Suspect Following Santa Monica Beach Stabbing

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

32-year-old man arrested Sunday evening on Santa Monica Beach, suffers head injuries in arrest By Sam Catanzaro As part of...

Santa Monica Beat: Santa Monica Beat – July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Serial Killer Arrested by SMPD Sentenced to Death * New Grants...

Santa Monica May Ban Lobbyists From Serving on Boards and Commissions

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

City Council instructs staff to draft ordinance to bar paid policy advocates from serving on board, commissions, task forces   By...

Water Near Santa Monica Pier Remains Questionable as Beach Closures Lifted Following Sewage Discharge

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

17 million gallons of raw sewage discharged from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant Sunday Night By Sam Catanzaro Beach closures have...

Edify TV: Local Cafe Supporting Foster Youths

July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

La La Land Kind Cafe recently opened its first California location in Santa Monica, delivering not only unique coffee and...

Santa Monica Experiencing 9-1-1 Call Outage

July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021

Update: As of 3 p.m., 9-1-1 phone service in Santa Monica has been fully restored. Please call or text 9-1-1...

Santa Monica Settles Consumer Protection Lawsuit With Match.com: Santa Monica Beat – July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica Settles Consumer Protection Lawsuit With Match.com* SMPD and Services...