The New York Times: Han Zicheng, an 85-year-old Chinese widower, decided in December that he did not want to spend his last days in a nursing home or die at his house alone. How to do that? By placing an ad in a flyer putting himself up for adoption. Han’s hope was that a friendly stranger or family would take him in and provide for him until he died.
Financial Advisor: “Some states make it harder for those caring for an aging parent, according to a new survey. Caring.com conducted a national survey to determine which states offer the best overall cost of living, and accessibility to senior support programs and resources for caregivers. While some states were praised for providing an affordable and helpful environment for caregivers, other states inevitable ended up at the bottom of the list.”
JDSUPRA: “I recommend that before an ill or very elderly person signs a will (or trust), that the estate planning attorney obtain a note from a doctor as to the person’s mental capacity. Doing so will help create a record that will make it more challenging to contest the will (or trust) on the basis that the person lacked testamentary capacity (i.e., the requisite mental capacity in order to execute a will or trust).”
People: “Britney Spears’s father is taking an extra step in bonding with his future son-in-law.
Jamie Spears is asking a court to add Jason Trawick as a co-conservator over his pop star daughter, a source confirms to PEOPLE.
Trawick will only have shared legal control over Spears’s general well being – not her finances, according to the source. In general, a conservator can make decisions over a person’s food, clothing and medical care.”
Estate of Denial: Britney Spears has been under conservatorship for four years, and she feels that she is now ready to resume control of her life, but her medical doctors don’t think she is ready yet, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
As previously reported, Spears was in court last Thursday with her dad Jamie Spears, and fiancé, Jason Trawick to meet with JudgeReva Goetz. The judge wanted to discuss with Britney the possibility of her becoming a part of Simon Cowell‘s The X Factor.
The pop music queen has told her psychiatrist and her court appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham, that she’s now ready to go it alone, but it looks like that won’t be happening anytime soon.
Continue reading Britney Spears ready to end conservatorship.
Estate of Denial: The feud between Zsa Zsa Gabor‘s ninth husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, and her only daughter, Constance Francesca Hilton, has once again been ignited. On Tuesday, March 20, Hilton filed for conservatorship over her mother’s finances and medical care, leading von Anhalt to hold a press conference at hi shome.
Reacting to Hilton’s conservatorship request, von Anhalt told reporters, “My wife doesn’t complain. She says she’s in a good condition, she feels good.” The 68-year-old added that Hilton is picking on him “at the worst times,” explaining, “We are right now going through a very hard time, my wife and me. We have to sell our property in order to pay our debts. My wife has $6 million in debts.”
In her petition, Hilton questioned why von Anhalt took out a $700,000 loan on Gabor’s $10 million Bel Air mansion, which reportedly is in foreclosure. While von Anhalt admitted to borrow the money, he said the debt was caused by Hilton who wrongfully refinanced the house years ago.
Continue reading Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband responds to conservatorship request.
Estate of Denial: Britney Spears appeared in Los Angeles County Superior Court this morning in a progress hearing for her conservatorship, which reports say may soon be over.
Spears arrived for her appearance in a red turtleneck paired with white flared pants. She walked ahead of fiancé Jason Trawick, reaching back to hold his hand. The two were accompanied by Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, who oversees the conservatorship.
While Judge Reva Goetz sealed the courtroom at 8:30 a.m., barring the public from hearing discussion of Spears’ “medical issues and financials,” sources say that the topic of discussion was restoring the pop star’s control of both her finances and business affairs.
Continue reading about Britney Spears going to court regarding her conservatorship.
Estate of Denial: The judge who oversees Britney Spears’ conservatorship will consider a request to appoint a conservator to oversee Zsa Zsa Gabor’s finances and medical care.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Reva Goetz scheduled a hearing for May 2 for the conservatorship petition filed Tuesday by Francesca Hilton, Gabor’s daughter.
The Hungarian-born actress was once one of Hollywood’s most glamorous women, but a broken hip and leg amputation in the past two years have left her confined to a bed.
Hilton contends that Gabor’s ninth husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, is keeping her “increasingly isolated” and “heavily sedated,” and she questions his handling of Gabor’s finances.
“What Ms. Hilton is seeking here is for the court to make sure that Zsa Zsa’s best interests are not being sacrificed for the selfish interests of anyone involved in Zsa Zsa’s life,” said Hilton lawyer Kenneth Kossoff.
Continue reading about the court assistance requested in Zsa Zsa Gabor’s case.
Forbes: The once-troubled pop star sure has been in the news a lot lately. Settling lawsuits, postponing her wedding, negotiating to be a judge on The X Factor, putting one of her mansions up for sale. It makes you wonder … is Britney Spears making any decisions about her life, or does her father, as her Conservator, decide everything?
Several months ago, we wrote how her father, Jamie Spears, was using the conservatorship to insulate Britney from lawsuits, including one by a company called Brand Sense. The company had sued Britney for breach of contract, after Team Britney cut Brand Sense out of profits from her perfume deal with Elizabeth Arden. Because Britney had been declared mentally incompetent, which justified the conservatorship, her father and their attorneys were able to keep Britney from being questioned under oath in a deposition for the lawsuit.
Continue reading whether Britney Spears’ conservatorship should be ended.
Wall Street Journal: Naming a guardian for a young child in a will can be one of the most important things a parent does. It can also be one of the hardest—in fact, many people don’t make a will because they can’t face the job.
“This is where I have people cry in meetings most,” says Margaret Sager, a partner at the law firm Heckscher Teillon Terrill & Sager, P.C. in West Conshohocken, Pa.
But estate-planning professionals say as hard as the question is, it’s also crucial to answer it. Otherwise, it leaves the fate of an orphaned child entirely up to a stranger—a judge. Although judges formally appoint guardians in all cases, they almost always choose the person named in the will.
Still, many parents drag their feet for fear of picking the wrong person. Advisers say they often have to help clients get past emotional blocks in order to move forward with their estate plans.
The paralysis that settles in “is not rational,” says Liza Weiman Hanks, a lawyer at Finch Montgomery Wright LLP in Palo Alto, Calif. and author of an estate-planning guide for families.
Ms. Hanks says she herself wasn’t immune—it took her three years to change her will after realizing that the friend she had originally designated to be the guardian of her two minor children was no longer a suitable choice.
So what’s the best way to get parents moving? Some advisers say they start by asking clients to consider the following:
1. It’s just for now.
A guardian isn’t forever, or even for a set period of time. If you decide later that the person you designated isn’t the best choice after all, you can always make a switch. It isn’t hard or expensive to do—the changes can be outlined in a codicil to the will.
It may help to think in terms of the next three years, advisers say. While Grandma and Grandpa may be just the ticket when the kids are four and five, they may not be the best guardians for kids heading into their teenage years.
2. Outside the box is OK.
A blood relative doesn’t have to be the guardian. If your children have a close, loving relationship with family friends, take that into consideration.
Ask yourself, who in your circle would make the best, most caring surrogate parent?
3. Nobody’s perfect.
Husbands and wives often disagree on who’s best-suited to care for their children, so accept the probability that you may have to compromise.
In those situations, Ms. Hanks suggests that each parent go to opposite sides of the room and write down their top five choices. Then they should compare lists and try to find common ground.
Once parents have narrowed down the field of potential guardians, some advisers say they ask clients to do the following:
1. Spend time with the person.
Make sure you know how a potential guardian is likely to treat your kids in various situations. Take a trip to the beach with your brother, for example. His inability to laugh off the chocolate ice cream in the back seat of his new car may take on a whole new significance if you’re considering asking him to raise your children.
Similarly, a sister’s all-white apartment may not seem so inviting if you’re looking at her as a potential guardian for your toddlers.
2. Review practical details.
Geography, religion, education—all of those things are important and they take on even greater significance when raising a child.
Basic details such as where a potential guardian lives should weigh heavily on your decision, experts say. An aunt may be the clear favorite, but if she lives in another state, your children could be uprooted from the comfort of their community and school right when they need it most.
Barrington Patch: Lisa, if something happened to my husband and me, who would take care of our young children? We have heard that we need to appoint a guardian. However, we are confused and don’t understand the necessary steps we must take. Would you please explain how we go about appointing a guardian and some of the issues we should consider? – Cheryl
Thanks for your question, and I certainly understand your concern. Choosing who will raise your minor children if you and your husband die is probably one of the most difficult decisions parents must make – my husband and me included. This task is often so tough that many parents never do it.
Huffington Post: “over half of the population doesn’t have a will, and the percentage only climbs for those with kids — the group that actually can’t afford to live without one. So, for the past year, I’ve been interviewing families, trying to figure out why people don’t pick a guardian for their child and cross it off their parenting list? As it happens, parents would rather talk about pretty much any other part of their personal life than answer this question. But when they finally do start talking, almost everyone has the same misconceptions about the process. In fact, most folks are letting four major myths hold them back from getting the job done and protecting their kid in case the worst happens.”
24-7 Press Release: If you have the vague, nagging sense you should do something about your estate plan (or lack thereof), here’s a few suggestions of things to consider as you prepare to meet with an estate planning attorney.
Will most of your assets pass through the probate system? Probate is the process of verifying a will, or if there isn’t a will, following the statutory intestate scheme to distribute the assets of a deceased person’s estate.
In a will, you name a personal representative who distributes your assets and pays your debts. While virtually anyone can serve as personal representative, you may want to consider both the complexity of your estate and the qualifications of the person.
Times Beacon Record: The facts: My aunt is widowed and living alone. Lately it has become clear that she cannot continue to live independently and cannot handle her finances. She is confused and does not appear to be eating well or bathing regularly. Unfortunately, there are no family members in a position to take care of my aunt. She does not have a will, power of attorney or health care proxy.
The question: Should I begin a guardianship proceeding to have someone appointed to make decisions about my aunt’s living situation and her assets? What happens if there are no family members or friends who can serve as guardian?
The answer: Although every situation is different, beginning a guardianship proceeding is generally appropriate when it appears that a person is likely to suffer harm because she cannot provide for her personal and property needs and cannot understand and appreciate the nature of her functional limitations. From your description of your aunt’s condition, I believe it would be appropriate to commence a guardianship proceeding.