Even though Michael Jackson’s father was not included as a beneficiary in his will or trust, it hasn’t stopped Joe Jackson from trying to intercede in the legal proceedings surrounding the estate. First, he asked the judge to remove estate executors John Branca and John McClain.
The probate judge dismissed his claims, saying he lacked “standing” in the estate because he was not a beneficiary. In other words, he did not have enough of a financial interest in the estate to be able to legally complain about who was in charge.
Recently, Joe Jackson filed an appeal of that decision, arguing that he was financially dependent on his son while he was alive, so he did have enough of an interest to attack the executors.
This argument is a long shot, at best. Joe Jackson requested an allowance from the estate initially, but he recently withdrew that request. More importantly, Michael did not choose to leave any of his assets to his father, so even if he supported his Read more...
The New York Times recently featured a story about the person universally recognized as one of the greatest chess players of all time. Robert James “Bobby” Fischer died from kidney disease on January 17, 2008 at the age of 64. He was buried in Iceland, where he lived for the last few years of his life.
Bobby Fischer was a King in the game of chess and his life was anything but conventional. So why should Fischer’s estate be simple?
Fischer scorned his 1972 world chess championship, renouncing it in 1975. He retreated from the world and turned his back on fame and fortune.
When he finally emerged for a rematch in 1992, he became a national fugitive. Why? Fischer ignored government warnings not to play the match in Yugoslavia, because of a trade embargo. This made him a criminal. He found refuge in Iceland, which granted him citizenship and prevented deportation.
Being a criminal was not his only character flaw. The former chess prodigy was deeply anti-Semitic, according to Read more...
Danielle Mayoras was recently quoted in this interesting article by the Detroit Free Press about the growing epidemic of exploitation of the elderly. It discussed a very sad case where a daughter took hundreds of thousands of dollars from her elderly mother and now is in jail saying the money is gone and she can’t return it.
This is one example of how more and more families are facing the devastation caused by exploitation of elderly loved ones, often by a family member or caregiver.
So how do families protect their golden seniors, whose lifetime of savings can often be a tempting target for desperate or unethical people? There are no magic answers, but here are a few Trial & Heirs Tips that we provided to the Detroit Free Press which ran next to the newspaper story:
1. Get expert advice. Consider consulting an estate lawyer who will know the ins and outs of estate planning. It’s usually money well spent.
2. Beware of Joint Accounts. When you add Read more...
It’s been seven months since the King of Pop died suddenly at the age of 50, and fights surrounding his estate seem like they may last for many years to come. Creditors are coming out of the woodwork, with new ones surfacing on a weekly basis. The latest, a management company, joins a series of business, medical and spiritual advisers and others who insist they are owed money, totaling more than $20 million, already. That total will certainly climb.
The estate co-executors, John Branca and John McClain, have to sort through the requests for money and try to determine the legitimate ones from the ones that are, well, more fiction than fact. It’s common when someone wealthy and eccentric passes to have all sorts of people saying they are entitled to money. (Jerry Garcia, James Brown, and Marlon Brando are a few notable examples that we cover in Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!).
One of the more interesting requests is from Michael’s father, Joe Jackson, who wants $15,000 Read more...
Who got the money? Who had the biggest family feuds? The mistakes that were made — and what we can learn from them. Two legal experts in estate planning and the authors of Trial & Heirs have the scoop.
If the recent and sudden death of Michael Jackson taught us something – other than the side effects of too much prescription medication – it’s the importance of a will or trust. Wills and trusts are taboo topics. We’re usually far more inclined to talk about Botox injections or mammograms than how we plan to divide our assets. But (and sorry for speaking so morbidly) once you’re dead, it’ll be far too late to finally address it. That’s why regardless of your age and health (Jackson was 50 and about to go on tour), it’s important to have a proper will — not just for your peace of mind, but for your family’s peace of mind too.
In addition to the King of Pop’s highly publicized estate battles, here’s a glimpse Read more...