Monthly Archives: January 2011

Dementia of Jazz Singer Etta James Sparks Family Fight

Famed R&B/Blues/Jazz singer Etta James, a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member whose biggest hit was At Last, now suffers from advanced dementia (likely Alzheimer’s disease) and leukemia.  According to her doctor, she can’t sign her own name and needs help even with basic life functions like eating, dressing and hygiene.  Etta is only 72 years old.  Etta-james

To make matters worse, her mental incapacity has sparked a family squabble that has led to a lawsuit.  Her husband of 41 years, Artis Mills, filed a court proceeding to take control of about one million dollars of bank accounts in Etta’s sole name.  Mills says he needs to money to pay for her care and keep her at home, rather than in a nursing home.  In most states, this would be done through a conservatorship proceeding (called “guardianship of the estate” in some states).

Since California is a community-property state, and because Mills is the spouse, his lawyer instead opted to file a separate lawsuit which asks for Etta’s money

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Will of John Edwards’ wife revealed

Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former Vice-President Candidate John Edwards, passed away from cancer on December 7, 2010 at the age of 61.  A mere 6 days before she died, Elizabeth created a new will … one that didn’t mention her husband, even once.  220px-ElizabethEdwardsReno

Who can blame her?  After all, John first denied — then admitted to — having an affair, which produced a child, whom he first denied — but then admitted — was his.

Many media reports about this will say that John was cut out completely and Elizabeth left everything to her children.  This isn’t entirely true.

In reality, Elizabeth left everything except her personal property to a revocable living trust she created, the Anania Edwards Trust (“Anania” was her maiden name).  Because trusts, unlike wills, are private documents, we don’t know for certain who the beneficiaries of her trust are.

But, it’s safe to assume John isn’t one of them.  On the other hand, he could change that.  Spouses in North Carolina, as in most Read more...

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