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 Clark’s next of kin" derby but had no way of proving their claims. Somehow, I think that I am not the only lawyer in this club. Today, theNew York Post has published an update of the Clark estate’s progress (or lack of same) through the New York County Surrogate’s Court.


Continue Reading Hugette Clark’s Estate Continues In Total Disarray

"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

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

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

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 effect prior to last September which limit assets subject to recovery to those within the  estate of a decedent which would pass either by will or by intestacy. Additionally, the proposed elimination of spousal refusal was eliminated.


Continue Reading New York’s Expanded Medicaid Regulations Repealed

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 abuse after it was found that he literally kept his mother in abject squalor on her Westchester  County estate. Later events ultimately led to the conviction of both Marshall and his lawyer Frank X Morrissey on multiple felony charges for their scheme to loot her estate. Most of the estate has been left to various charities including the New York Public Library, New York University, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art among others.


Continue Reading Brooke Astor’s Estate Is Settled

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 million dollars although the estate is valued by some to be at no more than four million dollars.


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

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 in the estate of John  Payne who died long before our nation was born.


Continue Reading 351 Year Old Estate Continues to Stir Up Controversy

It is generally well known that when Michael Jackson died, he was on the brink of bankruptcy. Since his death, however, his estate has grown by tens of millions of dollars. For the heirs of James Brown, death has not been nearly as profitable an experience.


Continue Reading Death Has Turned Out To Be Less Profitable For James Brown Than It Has Been For Michael Jackson

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