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    THE HOLIDAYS: A PERFECT TIME TO CONSIDER, AND PREVENT, ELDER ABUSE, Part 1

    Financial abuse of elder Americans is considered by some to be “the crime of the century” since it amounts to as much as $30 billion per year in losses and, statistically, few culprits are ever held accountable.  One study found 37% of seniors are affected by abuse over any five-year period, which can result in them skipping meals or medications to compensate for the shortfall or, worse yet, losing their homes.  Given the sheer numbers of baby boomers aging and living longer, not to mention folks over 50 controlling more than 70% of the nation’s wealth, we can only expect this trend to surge—increased dementia rates follow longer lifespans. Like…

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    CHADWICK BOSEMAN, STAR OF BLACK PANTHER, DIES WITHOUT A WILL—WHO’S ENTITLED TO HIS ESTATE?

    Chadwick Boseman, the actor behind Marvel Comic’s titular character in Black Panther, died earlier this year at the age of 43.  Doctors diagnosed Boseman with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and he battled it in secret as it progressed to a terminal, stage IV diagnosis.  Despite having four years to determine how to divide his estate, he did not execute a will.  So, what is to happen with his estimated $12 million estate? When someone dies without a will or some other estate plan in place, their assets pass via “intestate succession”.  Simply put, intestacy laws are state statutes that substitute for a will when someone dies without one. …

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    WHILE BANKSY BELIEVES “COPYRIGHT IS FOR LOSERS©™”, COURT RULES TRADEMARK IS NOT FOR HIM

    If you’ve only seen one piece of artwork from the elusive British street artist Banksy, there’s a good chance it is “Flower Thrower”.  Originally appearing on a West Bank, Bethlehem wall in 2005, Pest Control (the official entity that authenticates Banksy’s art) trademarked the image in 2014 without endeavoring to use it in commerce (as required by both American and European Union trademark law). Full Colour Black, a British greeting card company that often uses Banksy’s images, challenged the trademark in 2019 and requested its cancellation for having been filed in bad faith.  Essentially, Full Colour Black’s argument was that it was trademarked without any intention of being used in…

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    CDC ANNOUNCES NATIONAL EVICTION MORATORIUM THROUGH END OF THE YEAR FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT AFFORD RENT

    Beginning September 4, 2020 and lasting through the end of the year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) announced a national moratorium on evictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The moratorium is not automatic for all renters, however, and those eligible must sign and deliver to their landlords a declaration under penalty of perjury (which can be found here).  To qualify, renters must attest: They make less than $99,000 annually ($198,000 if filing jointly) or were not required to report any income in 2019;   They tried, but were unable, to acquire government assistance for help paying rent;   They cannot pay rent due to substantial loss…

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    Britney Spears Seeks Changes To Her Conservatorship

    After public displays of her deteriorating mental health, including shaving her head and attacking a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella, a conservatorship was established for Britney Spears by her father, Jamie, in 2008.  Also, known as guardianship, a conservatorship is a legal construct by which someone can be appointed to manage a ward’s (in this case, Britney’s) personal affairs (a Guardian of the Person) financial affairs (a Guardian of the Estate) or both (a General Guardian).  Most often, they are used in instances of ailing, older adults suffering from dementia and children under the age of 18 with significant assets. Earlier this month, Britney asked that her father be removed…

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    “WASHINGTON SQUATTERS” WILL NOT BE THE NEW NAME OF THE FOOTBALL FRANCHISE

    Earlier this week, the Washington Redskins announced they would be retiring the team name, due in no small part to societal and corporate pressures that have been mounting for decades. While various fan groups and news outlets speculate and take polls regarding what the new name should be, others are entering the fray to do something about it; namely, registering various potential names in hopes, presumably, of cashing in.  The practice is called “trademark squatting” and applies specifically to folks who register trademarks without real intention to use them.  To be legitimate, more is required than simply plopping down the $275 application fee with the United States Trademark and Patent…

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    WATCH YOUR STEP! THE PITFALLS OF SERVING AS A GUARDIAN, TRUSTEE, EXECUTOR, OR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT

    As reported by Charleston’s ABC News 4, a probate judge ruled Mayor John Tecklenburg wrongfully took money from an elderly woman for whom he cares, despite his claims it was done for her benefit and that he had no idea it was improper. Tecklenburg served as the conservator, or guardian, for Johnnie Wineglass, a 92 year-old former school teacher and community volunteer, who was a close family friend and former victim of financial scams.  According to Tecklenburg, Wineglass’ finances were insufficient to sustain her medical and nursing home needs and, as a result, he was pressed to generate income for her. His solution to that problem was (1) to take…

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    Lindley Law is Hiring!!

    Are you a lawyer who’s content with your current firm, without any desire to move?  Do your clients routinely praise you for rescuing them from circumstances they considered dire, if not entirely lost? Have you ever wanted to be part of a law firm that encouraged and rewarded your success? Do you want to shape your law firm’s future and build something special? If you answered YES to ALL these questions, we’ve been looking for you.  See below to find out why…   Lindley Law, PLLC is a boutique litigation firm located in Uptown Charlotte.  Lindley Law handles civil litigation matters throughout North Carolina, representing corporations, closely held businesses, and…

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    CLAWING BACK ASSETS: THE LESSON CAROLE BASKINS TAUGHT THE TIGER KING AND HIS MOTHER ABOUT FRAUDULENT TRANSFERS

    If you’ve seen the true crime documentary series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness”, you may recall Carole Baskins of Big Cat Rescue (“BCR”) sued Joseph Maldonado-Passage f/k/a Joe Schreibvogel a/k/a Joe Exotic in 2013 by for trademark infringement of the BCR logo.  That lawsuit resulted in a judgment of approximately $1 million. Unfortunately for prevailing plaintiffs everywhere, however, there is no “judgment cashing store” or other automatic mechanism for recovering an award.  Instead, it is incumbent upon the judgment creditor to “execute” on the judgment to locate and seize assets in furtherance of its satisfaction.  That post-trial process alone (also called supplemental proceedings) can be time consuming and expensive,…

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    FTC ALERT: NURSING HOMES CANNOT CLAIM RESIDENTS’ STIMULUS PAYMENTS

    The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning that nursing homes in several states are trying to require their Medicaid residents to sign over their stimulus checks.  However, according to the CARES Act, these payments are tax credits, and tax credits do not count as “resources” for the purposes of federal benefits programs like Medicaid. Individuals who reside in long term care facilities typically manage their own money or appoint another person to handle their financial affairs.  The stimulus funds are to be handled as any other resident benefits.  Since stimulus payments do not count as income, they do not affect Medicaid eligibility or qualify as a Medicaid resource. The FTC…