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Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! The Video Preview

Curious about how celebrity estate errors can help you protect yourself, your family, and your heirs?  This video introduces our book, Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights! by giving an overview of will and trust contests, using the Anna Nicole Smith case as an example.  Anyone who faces a probate fight like this one has to learn their legal rights!



 

Posted by:  Author and probate attorney Andrew W. Mayoras, co-author of Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights! and co-founder and shareholder of The Center for Probate Litigation and The Center for Elder Law in metro-Detroit, Michigan, which concentrate in probate litigation, estate planning, and elder law.  You can email him at awmayoras @ brmmlaw.com.

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New Book To Help Avoid Celebrity Estate Planning Blunders

“Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!” Explores High-Profile Cases & Offers Expert Advice

 

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The highly publicized estate battles of several deceased celebrities have cast a bright spotlight on the importance of having the proper estate planning. Although mega-rich celebrities seem to be affected overwhelmingly by these brutal family squabbles, the new book

 

"Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!" is designed to help every family, regardless of income level, avoid the financial pitfalls that drained bank accounts and created huge family rifts for the dozens of superstars profiled in the book. 

“Trial & Heirs” uses real stories to help readers steer clear of the same celebrity “estate errors” as they plan for their own “heirs.” The stories cover well known legal fights over famous fortunes: including the recent battles over Michael Jackson’s estate, along with other celebrities like Ted Kennedy; Anna Nicole Smith; Brooke Astor; Heath Ledger, Ray Charles; Princess Di; Jimi Hendrix; Frank Sinatra; Martin Luther King Jr.; and Rosa Parks… as well as many others that most people aren’t even aware of.  The book gives readers a front row seat in the courtroom while the authors replay the “tabloid drama”, point out what went wrong in these riveting cases, and teach readers how to avoid similar errors.

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Celebrity Money Battles article

The chief editor of www.Newsplink.com and I collaborated on an article discussing some of the latest celebrity estate and probate-related feuds.  The article includes:Britney Spears 2

The battles in the Britney Spears Conservatorship case, highlighted by the attorney who compared Britney's situation to a Soviet forced labor camp, before a restraining order was entered against him for three years.

Whitney Houston 2The Whitney Houston life insurance court case, through which Whitney lashed back at her step-mother (who sued Whitney) by detailing how the "custodial care services worker" met Whitney's father cleaning his house and then moved in with him despite their 40-year age difference and the fact Whitney's father was married at the time.

The Marlon Brando Estate, which has been involved in 26 different lawsuitsCeleb-marlon-brando_275-x-2481, including claims of sexual harassment, fraud, forgery, undue influence and abuse -- not to mention bringing to light Brando's paranoia that was so severe at the end of his life, he wanted his bedroom padlocked when he died so no one would steal the buttons off his shirt.

Anna Nicole SmithAnd the Grandaddy of all estate battles  -- Anna Nicole Smith -- who fought the son of her late 90-year old husband over his fortune worth hundreds of millions, up to the United States Supreme Court, only to have her own estate embroiled in litigation when she died.

You can read the complete Celebrity Money Battles article here.

Newsplink is a cool new website featuring unique news stories submitted by amateur and professional journalists alike. 

Posted by:  Author and probate attorney Andrew W. Mayoras, co-author of Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights! and co-founder and shareholder of The Center for Probate Litigation and The Center for Elder Law in metro-Detroit, Michigan, which concentrate in probate litigation, estate planning, and elder law.  You can email him at awmayoras @ brmmlaw.com.

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Whitney Houston fires back at stepmother in court

In a prior blog post, I discussed the lawsuit by Whitney Houston's step-mother against her.  Barbara Houston sued Whitney trying to recover life insurance proceeds left to Whitney by her father.  Barbara claimed the insurance was supposed to pay off a mortgage on her house that Whitney held.  Barbara argued Whitney failed to turn over the money or release the mortgage.

220px-Whitney_Houston_in_HamburgCourt records at the time showed that the parties were negotiating to try to settle.  Apparently those efforts filed.  In fact, Whitney not only defended the claims filed by Barbara, but she counter-sued as well.

Whitney claims that she lent her father lots of money, and even paid him as an employee.  Whitney says the insurance was paid to her to repay other sums of money, not the mortgage.  In fact, Whitney's counter-suit demands repayment of the mortgage, with interest, for a sum of more than 1.6 million dollars.

But what is most interesting about this case isn't the suit or counter-suit; rather it's the way Whitney chose to air her grievances against her "step-mother" in a public lawsuit.  Her counterclaim includes the following statements:

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Whitney Houston trying to settle life insurance lawsuit filed by her stepmother

Some of the more interesting probate family feuds involve life insurance.  Think that rich celebrities don't get involved in court fights like this?  Think again!

Whitney Houston's father died in February 2003.  Whitney HoustonHe had a one million dollar life insurance policy for which she was the beneficiary.  Almost six years after he died, Whitney's stepmother, Barbara Houston, sued Whitney claiming that the life insurance money was actually for her benefit. 

Her attorney alleges that Whitney had agreed with her father that the money would be used to pay off a mortgage that Whitney held over John and Barbara Houston’s home.  Apparently, Whitney lent her father $723,000 in 1990 and this loan was secured by a mortgage against his house, payable to Whitney.  Barbara’s lawsuit claims that the life insurance was purchased to pay off this mortgage, and the remaining balance was to be turned over to Barbara.

Continue reading "Whitney Houston trying to settle life insurance lawsuit filed by her stepmother" »