Guardianship Feed

Mickey Rooney's Estate Finds Peace, But Will It Last?

A mere five days after the Hollywood acting legend passed away in his sleep at the age of 93, the family of Mickey Rooney was set to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom to fight over where he should be buried. Just hours before the court hearing, the estate reached a settlement — hopefully putting an end to the troubling feud that surrounded Rooney’s family the last few years.  Mickey_rooney_2000-300x267

On one hand, Rooney’s family fight should not be viewed as surprising. What else would be expected when a Hollywood icon dies with a new will disinheriting all nine of his children (from eight different marriages), his wife, and all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren? But a closer look shows how this family feud was far from the typical inheritance squabble we often see when famous people die.

Mickey Rooney‘s estate is reported to be worth a mere $18,000 at this point. While his successful acting career spanned more than 80 years, most of Rooney’s starring roles occurred during the movie industry’s “old studio system.” So Rooney’s estate is not in line to receive much in the way of royalties, despite the fact he was the highest-paid actor of the late 1930′s to early 40′s.

 

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Sarah Hershberger Guardianship Case: Exploring Parents' Rights To Make Medical Decisions

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?    Amish

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 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 of making medical decisions for her -- the Hershbergers fled this past October and went into hiding.  Their five other children remain behind, apart from Sarah and their parents.

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Access Hollywood Explores Britney Spears Conservatorship

Access Hollywood featured a segment about the Britney Spears Conservatorship. The show examined how the successful entertainer can headline a new multi-million dollar Las Vegas show and mentor young singers as an X Factor Judge, yet not be deemed competent enough to manage her basic life decisions like food, clothing and shelter.

Danielle and Andy Mayoras of Trial & Heirs served as experts for the segment. After watching the segment, what do you think?  Does Britney Spears still need the protection of a conservator — almost six years after the legal proceeding started — or is this all about the money? Watch Access Hollywood‘s segment on the Britney Spears Conservatorship:

 

By Danielle and Andrew Mayoras, co-authors of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!  For the latest celebrity and high-profile cases, with tips to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your clients, click here to subscribe to The Trial & Heirs Update.  You can “like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Google+.

For legal help in Michigan, visit Danielle and Andy's law firm.


Casey Kasem’s Children and Wife Locked In Fight Over Conservatorship

For many years, kids across America listened to Casey Kasem, both as the legendary host of American Top 40 and as the voice to many cartoon characters including Shaggy of Scooby-Doo fame and Batman-sidekick Robin from Super Friends.  But now, his own kids say they don’t even get to listen to him — or even see him for that matter.  And it’s led to an ugly family feud in court.  Casey-Kasem

The 81-year old Casey Kasem suffers from advanced Parkinson’s disease and is essentially bedridden.  He cannot walk without assistance and may have diminished mental capacity.  His wife of more than 30 years, Jean, has barred Kasem’s children from his first marriage, and other friends and family members (such as his younger brother) from visiting or speaking with Kasem.

In order to pressure Jean to allow them to see Kasem, daughters Kerri Kasem and Julie Kasem, with more than a dozen friends and family members, held a protest in front of the Kasem home.  When that failed to convince Jean to change her mind, the daughters filed for conservatorship, in California.  A conservatorship court proceeding (called guardianship in some states) seeks to have an individual appointed to make decisions for someone who is not able to make proper decisions for himself, usually due to a medical condition like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or Parkinson’s disease.

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Will Conservatorship Work for Amanda Bynes?

For months, Amanda Bynes has been like a runaway train charging out-of-control down the tracks.  Multiple arrests … bizarre behavior … friends begging for someone to help her.  Many people feared a dramatic crash and fiery explosion.  Amanda Bynes July

A much smaller fire may have paved the way for her to get the help she obviously needs.  Last week it was reported by multiple outlets, such as the New York Daily News, that Amanda Bynes set her pants on fire and accidentally doused her pet Pomeranian with gasoline in the driveway of an unsuspecting elderly woman.  She reportedly fled the scene, tried to wash the dog off at a convenience store, and fled again.  Bynes was picked up by authorities, who had her committed to a 72-hour psychiatric hospitalization.

This latest incident has given her parents the impetus to file for conservatorship over her.  They filed last week, and had their first court hearing Friday morning.

Many people think it’s about time.  But filing for guardianship or conservatorship over a loved one is never an easy choice.  These are onerous court proceedings, through which someone loses the right to make even basic decisions, like where to live, what to spend money on, and who to spend time with.  Normally, they are reserved for elderly people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or those with developmental disabilities.  They should never be undertaken lightly, especially for a younger adult.

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Amanda Bynes' Comeback Could Begin With A Guardianship

Amanda Bynes came into the public eye as one of Nickelodeon’s sweethearts.  Now friends and colleagues are so worried about her recent  erratic behavior that they have been begging for police intervention. Her former publicist, Jonathan Jaxson, tweeted: “I just spoke to @AmandaBynes and she is soooo messed up on drugs and please @NY POLICE find her and help her! I don’t know her address!”   Amanda-Bynes

Jenny McCarthy then tweeted, “Police are at @AmandaBynes house. I hope they get her help. Enough of this circus. She needs help.”

Just over a year ago, Amanda Bynes started down a path that many probably could not foresee. It started with being charged with driving under the influence last year after she hit a police car when she was talking on her cell phone. After that, she was charged with two more hit and run accidents, which were later dismissed. Since then, her behavior has seemed to get more bizarre and erratic by the month.

  More recently, she tweeted to R&B/hip-hop artist Drake that she wants him to “murder her vagina.” Bynes has also been busy posting numerous pictures of herself topless and in lingerie. Then, she went as far as to shave half of her head. You can follow her twitter activity here.

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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.   Britney_Spears_-_I_Wanna_Go1

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.

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 is legally incompetent, unable to make decisions about her own life.

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