The New York Times: “The idea of a typical American funeral tends to elicit images of a polished, wood coffin, bouquets of delicate flowers resting nearby, and the musty, darkened chapel where family and friend will gather to mourn. A question that many are now asking is: “How necessary are all these accoutrements?” Markets have responded to the query, albeit minimally at this stage, with the “green burial.”
Student, 21, Flushed Her ‘Emotional Support’ HAMSTER Pebbles Down the Toilet and Drowned It After Spirit Airlines Banned It from Traveling with Her (and Now She’s Suing)
DailyMail: “A student who flushed her hamster down the toilet when Spirit told her she couldn’t fly home with it, is now attempting to sue the airline for causing emotional distress. Belen Aldecosea claims she didn’t have any other options but to kill her pet Pebbles rather than miss her flight back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in November after staff informed her that rodents were not allowed aboard.”
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys: “A 70-year old man arrived at a Miami hospital. He was alone and unconscious, with no ID, a high blood-alcohol level and multiple chronic conditions. He also had a tattoo on his chest that read “Do Not Resuscitate,” along with his (assumed) signature. Despite treatment by hospital staff, the man continued to be incapable of making his own medical decisions. Should the doctors honor the man’s Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) tattoo when it became clear that he would die without treatment?”
Daily Mail: “A deceased New York City entrepreneur with a $4 million East Hamptons property left behind a $100,000 pet fund for her 32 cockatiels and detailed instructions in her will about how the birds should be treated. Leslie Ann Mandel, 69, wrote in her will that she wanted the 32 birds to ‘continue to live in the aviary’ in the Hamptons or be taken to ‘a protected place of similar size’ for ‘the rest of their natural lives’.”
Before a military service member is deployed to combat, he or she must create a will that states how they want their assets distributed should they pass away. Service members have been posting on the popular website Reddit about the quirky bequests in their wills. Estate of Denial shares:
Over at Reddit, a servicemember posted about how he and a buddy each bequeathed one another $2,000 in their wills.
Sounds standard. Except, this two grand is bequeathed so that his friend — pardon the legalese — “can throw a killer party to celebrate my life.”
Yes, he got his lawyer to write in “killer party” into his will.
It gets even better. The servicemember — reddit username Citisol — “would like a cardboard cutout of me on display holding a bottle of Maker’s Mark Whisky [sic].”
Genius. Absolute genius.
Here’s the picture of the will that Citisol included.
His wife? Perfectly alright with it. “She was sitting with me as the lawyer wrote it up. She is sometimes pretty cool.”
Citisol made the post to ask for “ridiculous deployment legacies” from other serving redditors’ wills. The comments didn’t disappoint.
It’s no secret that when a wealthy celebrity dies, former lovers, “relatives” and other con men come out of the wood work to try to claim a part of the estate. However, the recent suit the estate of Michael Jackson got hit with might just take the cake. Estate of Denial reports:
Michael Jackson owes a convicted criminal $1 BILLION for exploiting personal details about her life in his music — this according to a bizarre and, dare we say, bogus lawsuit.
Kimberly Griggs filed the case in San Diego — claiming she and Jackson had an intimate relationship beginning in 1979, which she says he chronicled in his albums “Off the Wall,” “Thriller,” “Bad,” “Dangerous,” and his greatest hits album … “Number Ones.”
Griggs — who spent years in prison for burglary and robbery — claims she was pissed that Michael exposed her personal secrets in his tunes, so to make things nice he promised to give her the rights to the songs.
She says she was stunned when MJ died and she was completely left out of his estate.
According to the handwritten lawsuit, Griggs wants $1 billion in damages.
Calls to MJ’s Estate weren’t returned, but we’re guessing their response begins with the letters b and s.
Estate of Denial: “F. Scott Fitzgerald observed that the rich are different, but that does not mean an heiress can adopt her 65-year-old ex-husband to increase her family’s claim to a billion dollar inheritance.
Delaware’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the unconventional adoption did not entitle the man to inherit a share of the Gore-Tex waterproof fabric fortune.
Heirs to the founders of W.L. Gore & Associates Inc of Newark, Delaware, have fought for years over how to divide their stake in the privately held company, which has $3 billion in annual revenue.
Their battle landed in court over the question of how the late Wilbert L. Gore, who founded the company in his basement in 1958, and his late wife, Vieve, intended to divide their fortune.
At the center of the dispute was the adoption nearly a decade ago by Susan Gore, one of Wilbert’s five children, of her ex-husband, Jan Otto.”
Estate of Denial: John Goodman is the 48-year old multimillionaire from Palm Beach, Florida who recently made headlines when it was publicly revealed that he adopted his 42-year old girlfriend to help protect the family fortune.
Goodman did this in the midst of criminal and civil legal proceedings pending against him. They arose from the February, 2010 drunk driving incident during which Goodman reportedly ran a stop sign, killed a 23-year old man, and fled the scene. When it was recently revealed that Goodman, in October of last year, had legally adopted his girlfriend, people across the country were outraged.
Goodman’s lawyer issued a statement defending the adoption. He states that the adoption was done to protect Goodman’s children, not to shield assets from the family of the slain driver who is suing him.
While Goodman has been bashed across the country for his legal maneuver, it actually makes sense from a probate law perspective. Years ago, Goodman placed $1.5 million into an irrevocable trust for his two children. By investing that money into stock of the Goodman Manufacturing Co., which grew extraordinarily well under Goodman’s management, the $1.5 million trust fund blossomed to several hundred million dollars.
Continue reading about the Florida millionaire who adopted his girlfriend to protect trust assets.
AZCentral: A South Florida man willed his historic house worth $1 million to the U.S. government to help eliminate the country’s growing debt.
The Miami Herald reports that Uncle Sam put the Coral Gables house up for auction Saturday. The winning bid was $1.175 million.
The house belonged to James H. Davidson Jr. who lived there from his teenage years until he died last December at 87. He also left $1 million to the government.
Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog: Sometimes when individual dies, they leave behind unusual requests for their send-offs. For example, Arch West, creator of Doritos, asked to have Dorito chips scattered into his grave. Ten more strange send-off requests are below:
1. Frederic Baur (creator of the Pringles tube) requested that his remains be stored in, you guessed it, a Pringles tube.
2. Malcolm McLaren (the Sex Pistols’ former manager) requested his coffin be spray painted to say “too fast to live, too young to die,” asked for four black horses to bring his coffin to a deconsecrated church, and requested a “minute of mayhem” in lieu of a moment of silence.
3. Gene Roddenbery (creator of Star Trek) had his remains launched into space in 1997. His remains re-entered the atmosphere in 2002.
4. Hunter S. Thompson (the gonzo journalist) had his ashes fired from a cannon (paid for by his friend Johnny Depp) from a 150 foot tower topped with the symbol of Thompson’s journalism.
5. Tupac Shakur (rap artist) allegedly asked his rap group to mix his remains with marijuana and smoke them. The group claims to have followed Shakur’s request, but Shakur’s family says the rapper’s remains are closes guarded.
Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog: Former “American Idol” judge, Simon Cowell, recently told GQ magazine that he wants to be frozen when dies, with the hope that science will advance enough to where he can be unfrozen and live again. Cowell is not the only person considering cryogenic freezing after death. The ALCOR Life Extension Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona already has 100 frozen patients, with almost another 1,000 on the waiting list. But with the possibility of “coming back from the dead” comes issues of paying for the body’s upkeep and preserving assets for if or when the patient is unfrozen.
ALCOR currenlty charges $90,000 for freezing the entire body and requires another $110,000 in a trust for maintenance and storage. As far as providing financially for the patient after he or she is unfrozen, some attorneys point to dynasty trusts. Peggy Hoyt, and estate planner in Florida, drafts “personal revival trusts” specifically designed for cryogenically preserved clients. The trust allows intermediate beneficiaries like family and charities to inherit if something goes wrong and allows for payments to the cryogenic facility.