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March 2010

Brittany Murphy did update her estate plan, after all

Actress Brittany Murphy died tragically at age 32 a few months ago.  Within a day of her passing, celebrity website TMZ reported that Murphy failed to update her will after her marriage to Simon Monjack, her husband of 2 1/2 years.  Instead, her will left everything to her mother.  The Probate Lawyer Blog's article about it reminded people that updating wills and trusts after important life changes, like a marriage, is very important . . .  even for 32-year olds.Brittany-murphy

TMZ is now reporting that, according to Monjack, the story wasn't entirely accurate.  While she did have a prior handwritten will naming her mother as her beneficiary, Murphy did update her estate plan after her marriage, complete with a will and trust.  Monjack said he asked Murphy to include a provision stating "I am married to Simon Monjack who I have intentionally left out of this will." 

That provision was important because, without it, Monjack may still have inherited some of her assets as a "pretermitted spouse".  By specifically mentioning and disinheriting her husband, Murphy made sure that her estate went to only to her mother.  This language was critical to make sure her wishes were followed (rather than those of the State of California). 

Continue reading "Brittany Murphy did update her estate plan, after all" »

The Elvis Presley Conspiracy (Part II): The Background

After Eliza Presley shared her DNA evidence with me, as well as the story about how she got it, I spent some time digging around to see what else was out there to corroborate or contradict her story.  Eliza's claim is that she's the daughter of Vernon Presley, the father of Elvis.  But she bases her claim, in part, on evidence from a man who Eliza believes actually IS Elvis Presley, still alive.  Eliza says she never suspected Elvis might be alive when she began her journey.

Rather, according to Eliza, she only wanted to find out who her father was.  Eliza was 13 when she learned that she was adopted as a baby.  Several years later, Eliza met her birth mother, who gave Eliza the name of a man who was supposedly her father.  But when Eliza contacted him, he was adamant he wasn't her father and didn't even know her mother in 1961.  Eliza had to look elsewhere.  Elvis with Eliza's mother and aunt

Later in life, she and her husband at the time had been shocked, when seeing pictures of Elvis as a young child, how much he looked like their three-year-old son, Andrew.  Eliza knew that her birth mother had lived across the street from Elvis at Graceland shortly after he bought it in 1957-58 and had been friends with his family [see picture of Elvis and Eliza's birth mother and aunt]. 

Eliza's husband even suggested that Elvis may have been the father, because she shared a family resemblance ... not to mention the fact that Eliza was the only one of four children given up for adoption. 

So Eliza had wondered for some time if she could be the daughter of Elvis.  But she never bought into the whole "Elvis is alive" movement when she started her search.

Continue reading "The Elvis Presley Conspiracy (Part II): The Background" »