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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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Exploitation of France's richest woman? Her daughter says yes, but she says no!

Liliane Bettencourt is considered to be France's richest woman.  She inherited the controlling share of L'Oreal (if you're a man and don't know what L'Oreal is, ask your wife or girlfriend).  She presently owns about 28% of the cosmetics company and has an estimated fortune worth 23 billion dollars (U.S.).  Yet her only daughter, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, filed a lawsuit alleging that her 86-year-old mother is incompetent and is being taken advantage of by an artist and photographer described as a "dandy" and a "charmer" according to this article in The Australian.

Meyers' lawyer charges that Francois-Marie Banier has exploited Bettencourt to the tune of more 1.3 billion dollars in "gifts".  Bettencourt strongly disagrees.  She says she was examined by a psychiatrist a couple days before Christmas and proved she was competent.  She calls Banier a long-time friend of 20 years, both to her and to her late husband.  While she admits giving him valuable gifts, including a Picasso and a Matisse, the value is small compared to her total net worth.

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Lee Marvin's widow and daughter battle over his wishes

Lee Marvin, star of such films as Cat Ballou and The Dirty Dozen, died more than 20 years ago.  So why is his family fighting in court now?  Not only are they fighting, but his wife is trying to evict their daughter from her home.Lee Marvin 

The Tucson Citizen recently reported in this article that Lee's daughter, Wendy King, has been living with her family in the house for 25 years.  This house, however, is owned by Lee Marvin's trust.  Lee's widow, Pamela -- Wendy's own mother -- is the trustee of that trust, so she gets to decide what to do with the trust's property, including Wendy's home. 

Wendy disagrees and believes her mother is not acting in good faith.  She says that Pamela wants to evict her because she doesn't like Wendy's husband.  Pamela says that isn't true, although she clearly doesn't like him.  Of course, she believes she has good reason not to.  He pled guilty a couple years ago to a charge related to child molestation, and Pamela believes her daughter is a battered spouse. 

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