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Anna Nicole Smith Estate (Finally) Out Of Court

Posted in NEWS
The ABA Journal reports on the final failure of the Estate of Anna Nicole Smith to recover  hundreds of millions of dollars from the estate of her late husband J. Howard Marshall. Marshall, a Texas oil billionaire died at 89, a year after his marriage to Smith who was then 26. Not only are Smith and … Continue Reading

Philip Seymour Hoffman Did Not Leave His Estate To His Children

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Your lawblogger truly believes that  Philip Seymour Hoffman was the best actor of his time. Too bad this does not extend to his ability at estate planning. As reported by the New York Post and by extra tv.com here , Hoffman did not want to make his three kids into "trust babies" so he left … Continue Reading

Murdered Businessman Leaves Widow, Seven Children And No Will

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Today’s Daily News reports that Menachem Stark, a Brooklyn businessman and landlord who was murdered in January died intestate. While it appears that his partners may contribute to cover his substantial debts in a bankruptcy proceeding, his failure to have a Will can only add to the financial distress of his widow and seven children. … Continue Reading

Children Of Former South Carolina Football Coach Sue His Estate For Ten Million Dollars

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In what would seem to be a textbook case of undue influence, the children of the late Jim Carlen, former coach of the University of South Carolina football team who died at 79 have sued their father’s estate after a 2010 will left everything to his second wife Meredith. The Charlotte Observer emphasizes that "everything" meant just … Continue Reading

Woman Who Drowned Her Three Children Seeks Part Of The Wrongful Death Damages

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Newsday reports today that Leatrice Brewer, a Westbury NY woman found not guilty by reason of insanity of drowning her three children in a bathtub is now seeking part of the $350,000 recovered from Nassau County for the children’s wrongful deaths. The fathers of the children had sued based upon their claims that the Department of … Continue Reading

Accusations Against Public Administrator As Sparks Continue To Fly In Hirschfeld Estate

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Earlier, we reported that the daughter of multimillionaire Abe Hirschfeld  had accused her brother Ellie of grossly mistreating their father so that he could loot his estate. As reported in today’s Daily News, Rachel Hirschfeld has now leveled serious accusations against the New York County Public Administrator that he had ignored her brother’s allegedly improper … Continue Reading

Bulk Of Actor James Gandolfini’s Estate Left To His Son

Posted in NEWS
 Actor James Gandolfini has left an estate of at least seventy million dollars according to the Daily News and other news outlets.  While it is likely that Tony Soprano’s estate would have consisted of vast quantities of cash buried in various places about the state of New Jersey, his real life portrayer was a good deal … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Srikes Down DOMA But Issues Still Remain

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This morning, the U;S. Supreme Court issued a major decision in U.S. v Windsor as Executor of the Estate of Spyer  which can be read here.  In doing so, it has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) , thereby granting  same sex  marriages the same rights enjoyed by heterosexual married couples under federal law.  The … Continue Reading

Estate Contests 1.9 Billion Dollar Tax Bill

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Nobody likes to get a big tax bill from the IRS but imagine getting a bill for almost 2 billion dollars! The Detroit Free Press reports that the estate of the late billionaire William Davidson is going to tax court to contest a 1.9 billion dollar assessment (that’s Billion with a "B"!)… Continue Reading

Real Estate Mogul Abe Hirschfeld’s Children Battle Over His Estate

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Sibling rivalry takes on a new and unhealthy twist with the New York Post’s recent revelation that the adult children of the late real estate magnate Abe Hirschfeld have been engaged in an unseemly battle in the New York County Surrogate’s Court. Hirschfeld , long a colorful character one New York’s real estate and political … Continue Reading

Brooke Astor’s Son Goes To Prison Together With His Lawyer

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The New York Post has reported today that Justice A. Kirke Bartley has ordered Anthony Marshall to begin serving a prison sentence for looting the estate of his mother, socialite Brooke Astor who died at the age of 105 in 2007. Marshall, who at 89 is likely to be one of the oldest inmates of the … Continue Reading

Hugette Clark’s Estate Continues In Total Disarray

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Last year, I reported on the death of Hugette Clark, an eccentric copper mining heiress with an estate of hundreds of millions of dollars who died in May 2011 at 104 and no readily identifiable next of kin. I received inquiries from at least two ambitious folks who wanted to join the "I am Hugette … Continue Reading

Don’t Forget The Attic!

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"Don’t forget the attic" is an interesting reminder that comes from a fellow lawblogger at the Donnelly Ritigstein Law Firm.  While I must count myself among the millions of you whose mothers unceremoniously disposed of our baseball card and comic book collections [growing up in New York in the fifties, my extensive collection would have been worth … Continue Reading

Charges Of Thievery In The Surrogate’s Court Gain Traction

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Earlier this month I reported on the charges pending against Bronx County Surrogate Lee Holzman for failing to properly supervise a crony who had improperly billed an estate by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Today’s New York Post has now done some in-depth reporting on this story in an article which also brings to light … Continue Reading

Commission To Seek Removal Of Bronx Surrogate

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Today’sNew York Law Journal has reported  that a referee has upheld charges against Bronx  County Surrogate Lee Holzman that the judge should have fired Michael Lippman Esq, counsel to the Bronx County Public Administrator when he discovered that Lippman had collected excessive fees from estates. Rather than do this, the judge evidently devised a "repayment … Continue Reading

New York’s Expanded Medicaid Regulations Repealed

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It isn’t every day that the State of New York gives residents a break but that is what happened on March 27th with the repeal by the state legislature of the new medicaid regulations which expanded the definition of an "estate" for the purposes of medicaid recovery. We now return to the prior definitions in … Continue Reading

Brooke Astor’s Estate Is Settled

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As reported in today’sWall Street Journal , the hundred million dollar estate of socialite Brooke Astor, who died in 2007, has finally been settled after what can only be seen as a "long strange trip". Ms. Astor’s case first hit national headlines when her son Anthony Marshall was accused of the most egregious acts of elder … Continue Reading

Probate Judge Orders Rosa Parks Estate Not To Dispose Of Property Without His Permission

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The Detroit Free Press reports on the the latest twist in the continued litigation involving the Rosa Parks estate. Since her death in 2005, Ms Parks’ nieces and nephews have been at odds with the estate’s personal representatives about the disposition of her property, papers, photos and other mementos with an estimated value as high as ten … Continue Reading

351 Year Old Estate Continues to Stir Up Controversy

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For those clients who have been known to complain that their legal matters have dragged on interminably, your faithful lawblogger brings you a story about an estate that has yet to be settled after a mere 351 years! As the law blog of the New Jersey firmDonnelly Ritigstein reports, there is major litigation going on … Continue Reading

Steve Jobs’ Estate Plan Was As Inventive As He Was

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Steve Jobs was not able to avoid death but he had considerably better luck with taxes. As John Palley reports in his firm’sProbate Information Blog, without estate planning, Jobs’ estate would have had probate and tax expenses upwards of 3.5 billion (that’s BILLION  with a "B") dollars but that the judicious use of trusts could … Continue Reading