Almost two months after his death, Charles Manson’s body remains in limbo as an unusual legal battle over control of — and the potential to profit from — his estate rages on.
This of course raises questions. Why would anyone bother to fight over the estate of a man who spent almost five decades in prison? Even if he was one of the most infamous serial killers of all time, what could there be worth fighting over?
And if there is money to be had, how could someone claim profits generated by a man who became famous for committing profound acts of evil, and still sleep comfortably at night?
Those questions don’t seem to be slowing down three combatants vying for control of the Charles Manson estate and legacy. An avid collector of Manson memorabilia, named Michael Channels, became pen pals with Manson after sending him about 50 letters, leading to a meeting in prison in 2002. Manson then wrote and signed a purported will, naming Channels as his executor, Read more...
Princess Abigail Kawananakoa
Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, known to her friends as Kekau, is true Hawaiian royalty. Now, a bitter court battle rages over the questions of whether she is mentally capable of managing her vast fortune and whether she is the victim of physical abuse and financial exploitation.
Princess Kawananakoa, age 92, is a direct descendant to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii. When the United States annexed Hawaii in 1898, it ended the reign of Queen Lili’uokalani, Kawananakoa’s great-grand aunt. As the closest living relative, Kawananakoa is considered to be the heir apparent who would have assumed the throne if the monarchy had been restored.
Abigail Kawananakoa was also the beneficiary of a large fortune, thanks to her great-grandfather, James Campbell. Campbell, a 19th-century sugar cane industrialist who made his fortune in Hawaii, died in 1900 with an estate worth $3 million at the time. The Campbell Estate has grown since then, topping out over $2 billion in 2007 when the Estate was converted into corporate holdings. Kawananakoa Read more...
So much trouble caused by such a simple concept. When you create a will, you decide who receives your assets after you die. If you don’t, the laws of the state you live in determine it. What happens when those laws aren’t too clear? Chaos. And the Prince estate is experiencing it in full force.
Maybe it’s fitting for the estate of the man who sang, “Let’s Go Crazy.”
Prince’s estate — reported to be worth as much as $300 million dollars before taxes — is tied up in the early stages of a long battle over who really are his heirs. Still? Didn’t the judge already resolve that months ago?
Originally, it appeared so. Dozens of people came forward claiming to be Prince’s son, daughter, or other relative. The DNA did not support them, and the judge denied their claims. He determined that Prince’s full sister and five half-siblings all qualified as heirs. He ordered the other two, a reported niece and grand-niece, to undergo DNA testing as well. Read more...
While the final Tom Clancy estate battle may not have been as exciting as the climactic scenes in The Hunt for Red October or Patriot Games, the struggle between author Tom Clancy’s widow and four adult children over his $86 million estate is now over. The seven justices on the Maryland Court of Appeals (the highest court in Maryland) were asked to rule about what a key clause in the codicil to Clancy’s will actually meant. While it was close — four votes to three — the ruling marked a decisive victory for Clancy’s widow.
Considering that Tom Clancy is one of the best-selling authors of all time, it is ironic that the fight boiled down to how to interpret a clause in his estate planning documents that was written in an unclear manner.
The dispute centered around a provision in Clancy’s second codicil (which means amendment) to his will. The will, originally signed in 2007, divided Clancy’s assets into three trusts: one-third for his wife, another third for Read more...
Despite the probate process having just begun for Prince’s Estate, one thing is clear — it will be a long and rocky road for everyone involved.
While no one can dispute the artistic and creative greatness of the artist whose real name was Prince Rogers Nelson, the famed singer’s business smarts were often overlooked. Prince closely maintained and guarded ownership and control over the rights to his music, including the publishing rights, master recordings, performance royalties, and more. He famously stored hundreds of unreleased songs in his “vault”, to be released only when he wanted them to be made public.
The value of this music cannot be known until the contents of the vault are revealed, but estimates of Prince’s net worth based the earnings and future royalty rights to music already released range from $300 million to $500 million.
Those figures may be too low. His music sales have already soared by more than 16,000% in the days following his sudden death. That bump could only be the beginning. Read more...
Joan Rivers was widely respected for her sense of humor, work ethic, and willingness to say almost anything for a laugh. When it came to planning her estate, Rivers treated it as no laughing matter.
Joan Rivers’ last will and testament was signed on November 16, 2011. A thorough and well-drafted legal document, her will named a living trust as her beneficiary.
Specifically, Joan Rivers, whose full legal name was Joan R. Rosenberg, signed the Rosenberg Family Trust on the same day as the will. The will directed that all of her estate assets were to be distributed to that trust.
Melissa Rivers to Inherit Over $100 million of Joan Rivers Estate
Interestingly, the final version of Joan’s trust was far from her first. In fact, the will stated that her trust was actually the 11th amendment of the original trust, and the third complete restatement. This means that the original Rosenberg Family Trust was changed, many times over, and rewritten completely three times (not counting the original version). When Read more...
Even though she was 81 years old when she died on September 4th, there is no denying that Joan Rivers died too soon. She continued to entertain with an energy level that suggested she was anything but eighty-something. Melissa Rivers has now hired a law firm to find out exactly why Joan died … and who, if anyone, should be held responsible.
Representatives for Melissa Rivers told E! News and others that she retained a New York law firm to “fully determine all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Joan Rivers.” Other reports state that the law firm is sending letters to the medical center that performed the surgery which led to Joan Rivers death, as well as the doctors’ offices involved, demanding they preserve their records and phone logs. This is the first step in the long process of pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Melissa Rivers Retains Powerhouse Attorneys For Death of Joan Rivers
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Next, Melissa Rivers will have to file in probate Read more...
Anyone who knows who CIA analyst Jack Ryan is likely appreciates the work of late author Tom Clancy. Called the “father of the techno-thriller,” Clancy’s career took off with his first novel, The Hunt for Red October. His career — spawning movies such as Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger — led to more than 100 million copies of his novels in print, with 17 books hitting the top spot on the New York Times best-seller list.
Tom Clancy passed away on October 1, 2013 from heart failure, at age 66. He was survived by his widow, Alexandra Clancy, and their young daughter, as well as four adult children from his first marriage.
Author Tom Clancy Dies At 66 (Oct 1st, 2013)
Tom Clancy Estate Value
The Tom Clancy Estate has been valued, based on probate court filings, at $82 million. It includes a $65 million ownership stake in the Baltimore Orioles, a rare, working World War II tank, a $7 million mansion overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, and more Read more...
To most parents, the question of whether the government should intervene to dictate how a child should be raised is an easy one. Parents, not the court system, should decide what is best for their children — in the absence, of course, of abuse or neglect. But does that change when a child’s life is on the line?
That is the difficult question facing a court of appeals in Ohio regarding Sarah Hershberger. What are the constitutional rights of parents to make life-or-death medical decisions for their child? What if the decision the parents make flies in the face of conventional medicine and, according to traditional doctors, means the child will die in less than a year?
Sarah Hershberger Guardianship Case
Sarah Hershberger is the eleven-year-old daughter of Andy and Anna Hershberger, who are Amish. The family lives in an Amish community near a small town outside of Cleveland. At least, they did until recently. Because the Ohio court system appointed a guardian over Sarah — for the sole purpose Read more...
Arturo Gatti, the former world-champion boxer, died violently while on vacation in Brazil, in 2009. His wife, Amanda Rodrigues Gatti, was arrested for murder, only to be released after the police ruled the death a suicide. Now, almost four years later, Brazilian authorities have re-opened the investigation and the case may soon return to court.
It’s the latest chapter in a long line of legal struggles that started after Arturo Gatti’s death. Gatti’s mother, brother, and the mother of his first child have always believed that Rodrigues was responsible for his death. Gatti was found strangled by Rodrigues’ purse strap, and she reportedly was in the room with his body for ten hours without realizing he was dead.
Rodrigues has consistently maintained that Gatti committed suicide. She points out that autopsies have been done in both Brazil and Montreal — where the couple lived — and both determined that Gatti killed himself.
Arturo Gatti’s Death
But that has been only part of the controversy. The other family members Read more...