10.1 C
New York
Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Movie star Version by Kelley Method · Author’s Enjoyable Zone

Estate Planning Horror Stories: Celebrity Edition by Kelley WayLet’s welcome again month-to-month columnist Kelley Method as she shares with us “Property Planning Horror Tales: Movie star Version.” Get pleasure from!


It’s been a very long time since I final posted on property planning horror tales that have an effect on up to date celebrities.  An replace is lengthy overdue, so let me share what’s been occurring in a few of the estates I mentioned in my earlier article.

Aretha Franklin

After 5 years of combating amongst her heirs, Aretha Franklin’s probate is lastly winding to a detailed. The dispute revolved round two handwritten wills found after her dying.

One was considerate, detailed, notarized, and found in a locked cupboard; the later will was scribbled down in a pocket book, signed, and found in her sofa cushions.

Her sons couldn’t agree on which one ought to management, and the courtroom lastly gave the matter to a jury to determine, who dominated that the latter will managed.

Aretha was within the course of of making a extra formal will with a lawyer when she died, however the courtroom couldn’t contemplate the draft because it had not been signed.

Along with the combating over which can would management, the property additionally needed to negotiate with the IRS over how a lot was owed in taxes and the way that will be paid for the reason that property was low on money funds.

They lastly agreed on an $8 million tax invoice, which might be paid off over time with revenues from royalties and licensing agreements.


After six years within the Probate Courtroom, Prince’s probate points have been resolved final 12 months. Since Prince had no will of any variety, it took a 12 months or two simply to determine who his heirs have been, with over 45 folks coming ahead claiming some form of proper to the property.

As soon as Prince’s six siblings and half-siblings have been decided because the heirs, the property wanted to find out the online price of all of the property, what was owed in taxes, and the way the remaining property could be divided between the heirs.

Two of the heirs died whereas ready for a decision and payout; Major Wave, a music publishing firm, purchased out the pursuits for 3 heirs who couldn’t afford to maintain paying their legal professionals whereas ready for a decision.

Major Wave created an LLC to carry their possession curiosity within the property, and the remaining three heirs created one other LLC to carry their possession curiosity.

In 2022, the courtroom dominated that $3 million would go to Comerica Financial institution, the executor for the property, to cowl closing prices and bills, and no matter remained after taxes and money owed have been paid could be break up evenly between the 2 LLCs.

That mentioned, what stays after taxes and money owed are paid is in query. 

The property and the IRS finally agreed on a price of $156.4 million for the property on the time of Prince’s dying, which suggests a tax invoice of about $31 million.

The IRS added an “accuracy-related penalty” of $6 million to that, and the Minnesota Division of Income is charging their very own penalty for not precisely stating the worth of the property again in 2016.

As well as, over $45 million have been spent in courtroom and authorized charges over the course of the proceedings. A lot of the property’s worth is related to actual property and intangible property like copyrights, that means that the precise money within the property is probably going inadequate to cowl all of the bills.

The heirs could need to liquidate holdings and/or promote copyrights to repay all of the money owed, although it’s attainable they may make a pay-off plan with the IRS just like the Aretha Franklin property did, or maybe they’ll take out a mortgage with higher payback phrases.

Time will inform.

Elivs Presley

Final however not least, whereas the problems in Elvis Presley’s property have been settled a while in the past, the dying of his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, in January of 2023 highlights points that usually come up with inherited wealth.

Lisa Marie did be taught from her father’s errors in some respects, making a will and belief for a clean switch of her property to her youngsters.

Nevertheless, she could have inherited her father’s poor judgment in selecting enterprise managers.

In 2018 she sued her former enterprise supervisor, Barry Siegel, claiming that he had price her tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} resulting from monetary mismanagement and self-dealing, leaving her in important debt.

For instance, at his behest, she bought 85% of her curiosity in Elvis Presley Enterprises for over $100 million in 2005, which had dwindled to about $14,000 after 11 years due largely to failing to plan for the taxes related to the sale and investing many of the funds in a single firm that went bankrupt in 2016.

Siegel countersued, claiming he had carried out his greatest to avoid wasting her from monetary damage resulting from her extravagant way of life and lavish spending habits (one other legacy from her father, if true).

Whereas particulars from her property haven’t been made public, public data from a current divorce recommend that there could also be extra money owed than money (although if that’s the case, ongoing income from Graceland, royalties, and different sources might probably resolve that concern).

These types of points typically give you inherited wealth, which is why it is vitally uncommon for household wealth to final three generations and even rarer for inherited wealth to move on to the fourth era.

Along with the above, Lisa Marie’s mom, Priscilla Presley, filed a movement in courtroom to invalidate the modification Lisa Marie made to her belief in 2016, eradicating Priscilla and Siegel as co-trustees of the belief and naming two of Lisa Marie’s youngsters as an alternative (certainly one of whom died in 2020).

Priscilla alleged that the modification didn’t observe the necessities specified by the belief for a sound modification, was not correctly witnessed or notarized, and that the signature didn’t appear to be Lisa Marie’s, amongst different issues.

Nevertheless, Priscilla and her granddaughter Riley Keough got here to an settlement out of courtroom, the place Priscilla backed Riley’s appointment as trustee and would function an advisor going ahead.

Keep away from A State of affairs

Each certainly one of these property planning horror tales might have been prevented, together with the numerous authorized charges and courtroom drama by having a lawyer concerned in getting ready their property plans and later amendments.

Planning forward by creating an property plan with an lawyer may give you peace of thoughts and keep away from property planning horror tales. 

If you need to work with me, I might be reached at kaway@kawaylaw.com.


Wish to learn extra articles like this one Author’s Enjoyable Zone? Subscribe right here.



Kelley Way

Kelley Method was born and raised in Walnut Creek, California. She graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in English, adopted by a Juris Doctorate. Kelley is a member of the California Bar, and an aspiring author of younger grownup fantasy novels. Extra data at kawaylaw.com.

Supply hyperlink

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles