• Blog Post

    PRACTICAL TIPS TO AVOID ESTATE DISPUTES

    Singer and television personality Marie Osmond recently announced she would not be leaving her fortune to her children.  Individuals are free to incorporate decisions to disinherit heirs, as Marie Osmond did, in their estate plans; however, this often leads to litigation after the individual passes away.  Litigation over an estate can be particularly difficult and expensive because the person with the most direct knowledge about the estate – the decedent – is no longer alive to testify.  What are some practical steps to avoid or mitigate the risk of litigation?   Make Your Estate Plan Known   A testator (individual making a will or providing a legacy) seeking to disinherit…

  • Blog Post

    DISINHERITED SPOUSES AND THE RIGHT OF ELECTIVE SHARE

    Ric Ocasek, famed singer for The Cars, recently passed away leaving behind a will that purportedly removes his estranged wife, Paulina Porizkova, as a beneficiary of his estate.  Ocasek and Porizkova were in the process of divorcing when Ocasek died; however, the divorce was not finalized, and the two were still legally married.  Removing one’s spouse from an estate plan – often referred to as disinheriting a spouse – is common, particularly when spouses are separating and divorcing.  States that have adopted the Uniform Probate Code, or similar statutes, create protection for a disinherited spouse in the form of the right of elective share.   What is Elective Share?  …

  • Charles Manson's Will
    Blog Post

    The Battle for Charles Manson’s Estate

    When Charles Manson passed away at age 83 of natural causes* at the Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran California, he left in his wake a potential legal battle over his estate. Three men currently claim to be the rightful beneficiaries to Manson’s estate: a long-time pen pal, a son, and a grandson of Manson.   Notorious cult leader, Charles Manson, and his followers, the Manson Family, were responsible for a brutal murder spree in August of 1969 targeting members of the Hollywood elite.  On his orders, his followers went to Roman Polanski’s house and killed his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, along with four others, including the heiress to the Folger’s…