Tag Archives: guardianship

When Will Britney Spears Be Free Of Conservatorship?

The Britney Spears conservatorship saga has nearly reached its fifth year anniversary.  We all remember her shaved head, public meltdowns, and wild paparazzi photographs.  Her career, her relationship with her children, and even her life were all spinning dangerously out of control.

Compare that to her life now, five years later.  Thirty-one-year-old Britney looks a great deal different from twenty-six-year-old Britney.  She was just paid $15 million for one season’s work as a judge on the X Factor.  Was she the best judge around?  That’s debatable.  There were reports that Simon Cowell wouldn’t have her back for another season, but it was Britney’s decision to leave X-Factor.

Britney Spears conservatorship video

Either way, there’s no debate that Britney seemed … well, very normal.  She was mature, composed, even graceful at times. She mentored teenage singers.  She held herself together and gave constructive feedback.  Britney was reportedly re-energized by the experience and is ready to start releasing new music and touring again.

What thirty-one-year-old Britney doesn’t look like is someone who Read more...

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Legally Blonde Reese Witherspoon Goes To Court To Protect Father From Bigamy

One of Reese Witherspoon’s more famous roles was as the perky young attorney in Legally Blonde.  Late last week, she accompanied her parents to court in a much more somber setting.

Reese Witherspoon’s father, Dr. John Draper Witherspoon, was recently married.  At least, that’s what a newspaper in Nashville, Tennessee announced.  You can read the big announcement and see the happy couple’s wedding photo here.
While John doesn’t exactly look happy in the picture, the announcement reveals that they will reside together in Nashville, following the intimate ceremony that featured cowboy boots and yellow roses, based on their Texas heritage.  The festivities took place on January 14th, and the couple plans a celebration with friends and family for the summer.

Reese Witherspoon’s Father Sued For Bigamy

There’s just one problem.  Reese’s 70-year old father, John, was never divorced from Reese’s mother, Mary.  While they’ve been living apart for the last 16 years, they still are married.  Mary says she still loves her husband of 42 years, Read more...

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Etta James Estate: Others Remind of Need for Estate Planning in 2012

A few weeks into the new year, how many of your New Year’s resolutions have already fallen by the wayside?  Exercise more. Eat less.  Spend more quality time with family.

Well it’s not too late to tackle a very important resolution that up to two-thirds of adults in our country ignore — estate planning. That’s right, it’s the topic no one likes to think about, but everyone knows they should take care of … wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and more.

It doesn’t have to be intimidating! In fact, celebrity stories are a great way to break the ice to remind everyone of what they need to do.

So, with the help of some recent stories in the news, here are Trial & Heirs: New Years Estate Planning Resolutions for 2012.  (We just gave an interview discussing some of these stories, which you can watch here).

The Estate Of Etta James

1.  Plan Now and Don’t Procrastinate.

R&B legend Etta James was 72 when she passed away last week, Read more...

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L’Oreal Heiress, Liliane Bettencourt, Subject To Guardianship

The second richest woman in the world, Liliane Bettencourt, has been declared mentally unfit to manage her affairs by a Judge in France yesterday.  The decision grants control of her financial affairs to her only child, daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, and grandsons Jean-Victor and Nicolas.  Bettencourt-Meyers has been fighting for years to protect her 88-year old mother, who has been victim to financial exploitation to the tune of more than one billion dollars, according to an earlier lawsuit.

Bettencourt suffers from “mixed dementia” and “moderately severe” Alzheimer’s disease, according to a medical report relied on by the Judge in making her decision.  Her mental decline sparked a family court fight.  It began three years ago when Bettencourt-Meyers started a lawsuit to protect her mother from photographer Francois-Marie Banier, who she claimed had charmed the elder Bettencourt out of assets worth almost one billion euros (about 1.4 billion dollars).  She also named Banier as sole heir in a new will and as beneficiary to vast life insurance policies.

Bettencourt was so furious Read more...

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Ten Warning Signs of Financial Exploitation

The National Center on Elder Abuse defines Financial or Material Exploitation as:

The illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets.  Examples includes, but are not limited to, cashing an elderly person’s checks without authorization or permission; forging an older person’s signature; misusing or stealing an older person’s money or possessions; coercing or deceiving an older person into signing a document (e.g., contracts or will); and the improper use of conservatorship, guardianship, or power of attorney.

The Center lists the following warning signs and symptoms of exploitation and other forms of financial abuse:

  1. Sudden changes in bank account or banking practice, including an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money by a person accompanying the elder;
  2. The inclusion of additional names on an elder’s bank signature card;
  3. Unauthorized withdrawal of the elder’s funds using the elder’s ATM card;
  4. Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents;
  5. Unexplained disappearance of fund or valuable possessions;
  6. Substandard care being provided or bills unpaid despite the availability of adequate financial
Read more...
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Did Conservatorship Save Britney Spears Life?

As Britney Spears nears her 30th birthday in a few months, she is in the midst of a world tour, has a successful new album, and tells Glamour Magazine that she is happy and “in a really good place right now.”  There’s even talk of her regaining at least partial custody of her children.  Quite a turnaround from the public lows she hit just three years ago!  And who does she thank for it?  Her father, James Spears.

In fact, according to a friend of hers, Britney Spears credits her father for saving her life. How did he do it when she was so close to the edge — bald head and all — just a few short years ago?

James Spears has been Britney’s conservator since 2008.  This means he was appointed by a judge to make all of Britney’s legal decisions, financial and otherwise, since that time.

Most people who are familiar with conservators (or guardians, as they are called in many states) think of them as being Read more...

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Is 94-Year-Old Zsa Zsa Gabor Going To Be A New Mother?

Zsa Zsa Gabor has always been associated with glamour in Hollywood — queen of film and television over the course of a five-decade career, married nine times, and even able to parlay a famous slap of a police officer into a career revival.  In fact, she has recently been called “the first and probably biggest Hollywood celeb to become famous for being famous.” Aptly put.

But when does pursuing fame cross the line for a 94-year old? That point may have come this week, when her husband of 25 years told the media that he had started the process of donor matching and blood work so he could turn Zsa Zsa into Ma Ma.

That’s right, the esteemed Prince Frederic von Anhalt is planning to arrange for an egg donor, surrogate mother, and artificial insemination to allow Zsa Zsa to once again enjoy the wonder of motherhood.

Why in the world would he do this?  He said that he wants someone to be able to carry on the Gabor Read more...

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Family of Zsa Zsa Gabor Feuds as She Nears Death

Zsa Zsa Gabor, who appeared in dozens of movies and television shows throughout a career that spanned five decades, is approaching the end. She has a feeding tube, can hardly tell when she’s at home or in the hospital, and is barely able to communicate. According to a recent Associated Press story, she’s been admitted to the hospital nearly two dozen times since last summer, and she recently was in a coma.

Sadly, her final days are surrounding by fighting, between her husband of 25 years and her only daughter. Frederic Prinz von Anhalt is her ninth husband, and he’s been her devoted caregiver and says he is constantly by her side. Gabor’s daughter, Francesca Hilton (yes, from that Hilton family), tells a different story of Von Anhalt. She says he doesn’t let her visit her mother, won’t update her about her medical condition, and that she learned of a recent hospitalization from a reporter, since Von Anhalt won’t talk to her.

Hilton says she wants to see her mother Read more...

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Mickey Rooney Elder Abuse: Says His Stepson Is Abusing Him

Famed 90-year-old actor Mickey Rooney, who has won an Oscar, Emmy and a Golden Globe, now plays a much sadder role.  It’s one that is far more common than most people realize.  Mickey Rooney elder abuse
Mickey Rooney says he has been a victim of elder abuse at the hands of his stepson, who has made him a prisoner in his own home.  In a recent court filing, Rooney alleges that the stepson, Chris Aber, along with Aber’s wife, have taken control of his finances, intercepted his mail and even forced him to do performances he did not wish to do.
Rooney says they’ve also drained almost $400,000 from his bank accounts and refused to give him his own ID cards, passport, and Screen Actor’s Guild card.  In fact, a judge recently ordered Aber to turn the cards over to Rooney within 24 hours.

Mickey Rooney Elder Abuse Testimonial

The court appointed an independent attorney to serve as a temporary conservator to protect Rooney, pending a full evidentiary hearing.  Following the upcoming hearing, scheduled Read more...

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Do Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen Need Conservatorships?

It seems that conservatorships may become a new trend to help wild and out-of-control celebrities in Hollywood.

It sure helped Britney Spears.  After her escapades of a hairless head, posing for the paparazzi with no panties, and excessive partying and drinking, her father, James Spears, filed for conservatorship.  This allowed him to become her legal decision-maker and help turn her life and career around.Lindsay-lohan-mugshot

Then came talk of a conservatorship for Lindsay Lohan.  She’s had multiple DUI arrests and been sentenced to jail time and rehab, more than once.  Most recently, she’s facing a possible felony sentence for allegedly lifting a diamond necklace from a jewelry store.

A few months ago, Lindsay bristled at the reports that her father was attempting to file for conservatorship over her.  Michael Lohan did not end up filing the court case, but with this latest criminal trouble, can another attempt be far off?

Most recently, Martin Sheen and his wife are said to be considering filing for conservatorship for Charlie Sheen.  With the recent Read more...

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