Trial and Heirs

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 Jacksonís 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.

A terminal diagnosis for Simpson's co-creator Sam Simon pushed him to immediately address his estate and charitable giving plans. His story offers an important lesson for your clients.

To put it bluntly, James Gandolfiniís estate is a mess. His faulty estate planning provides a good lesson of the types of complications that can arise for clients who rely heavily on a will.

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 donít 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.

How many people would jump at the chance to trade places with 15-year-old twins who stand to inherit one billion dollars in six years? Andy and Danielle Mayoras warn: be careful what you wish for.

Chicago businessman Urooj Khan jumped for joy when he learned he had the winning numbers for a million-dollar lottery drawing last summer. Too bad he never had a chance to enjoy it.

Jenni Rivera was a singer-songwriter, actress and Telemundo TV star who died tragically and now her estate will be as rocky as her life.

Abraham Lincoln is one of the most notable examples of someone dying without a will. This begs the question, what happened to Lincolnís estate after he died?

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