While spending years in litigation over a single piece of art is unusual, family fights over valuable or sentimental personal property left by a deceased loved one are far from uncommon. The mess involving a Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett offers an important estate planning lesson for advisors.
As the court battle between Michael Jackson’s heirs and entertainment company AEG heads to the jury, the case highlights five legal challenges and complications that the estate executors have had to worry about in the last few months alone.
You can do your clients a great service by sharing this story and reminding them that gifts of valuable personal property need to be well-documented with good estate planning, so that their loved ones don’t have to fight in court over whether a valid gift was made or not.
The battle over the estate of the Godfather of Soul started not long after James Brown died in 2006. Now, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that may finally lay the epic feud to rest, and could establish an interested precedent for your clients.
One could only imagine what George Jefferson — the wise-cracking character who was “movin’ on up” on the 1970's TV hit, The Jeffersons — would have said about this predicament. The body of actor Sherman Hemsley, who played George Jefferson, has been kept on ice for the last 3 1/2 months.
The heirs of the two co-creators of the legendary comic book hero have been battling the powerful media conglomerates, Warner Bros. and DC Comics, for many years in a series of (seemingly) never-ending lawsuits. While most of your clients will never have to worry about something as valuable as Superman copyrights, it is very common for disputes to arise regarding an estate, trust or assets of someone who passed away.