Monthly Archives: April 2011

What Do Estate Tax Laws Mean To Your Family?

Danielle Mayoras was recently interviewed by Kim Vatis of NBC Chicago for her Smart Money finance feature:

If you think tax season is over, think again.

The Tax Relief Act of 2010 has changed the rules for estate taxes. And while Congress is giving families a gift, they need to act now and plan.

“2011 to 2013 is critical,” said estate planning attorney Danielle Mayoras. “Take advantage of the laws while we have them.”
How to Save Money on Moving

As of this year, the federal exemption for estate taxes is $5 million dollars, but that will go down to $1 million in 2013.

In Illinois, the exemption is just $2 million, meaning a lot more middle class families here could be affected.

“It’s not just the money in the bank,” reminded Mayoras.

Death benefits on life insurance, your 401ks and the fair market value on your home are all part of your estate and could add up to $2 million dollars quicker than you think, she explained.

The death

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Michael Jackson’s Estate Battles Heal the World Charity

A big trial is set to begin in late April, pitting the executors of the Michael Jackson Estate against the operator of the Heal the World charitable foundation. The charity has many supporters, including Michael Jackson’s parents, Katherine and Joe Jackson.

Not only has Katherine supported the charity against the executors, but she did so with a surprising attack against John Branca, the lawyer who is one of two estate executors.

Katherine Jackson has battled with the executors before, but it all seemed resolved in late 2009 after her surprising change of heart. But clearly, there is plenty of fighting left!

What did Katherine Jackson say, under oath, to support this charity? Is this is a sign of more fighting yet to come? What could have been done differently in Michael Jackson’s estate planning to prevent this fight?

Danielle and Andy Mayoras of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! answer these questions and more, including revealing exactly what Katherine Jackson said about how her son felt about John Branca. Read more...

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James Brown’s Estate Fight Still Rocking On

The battle over James Brown’s final wishes began very shortly after the Godfather of Soul passed away on Christmas Day of 2006. And it’s still going strong.

The probate judge approved a settlement among his heirs in 2009, seemingly ending the fight then. One-half of his estate was to pass to charity through a trust, and the other one-half divided between his widow and his children. You can read about the prior settlement here.

But don’t forget about his former manager! What does she have to do with anything? It seems that Jacquelyne Hollander believes she should have been involved in the settlement too. She didn’t like being left out.

Hollander had sued Brown for sexual assault when he was alive (but lost, because she waited too long to sue). Now she’s sued, multiple times, to stop the settlement. Her most-recent lawsuit is still going on in federal court in California.

Why did she sue? What could have been done to prevent all this fighting? What can you learn Read more...

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