• 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…

  • Firm News

    CONGRATULATIONS TO TREY LINDLEY, SATIE MUNN, AND KEVIN CLEYS FOR BEING RECOGNIZED IN SUPER LAWYERS MAGAZINE

    Lindley Law is pleased to announce its recognition by the 2020 edition of Super Lawyers. Trey Lindley was selected as a Super Lawyer in Estate and Trust Litigation, his third consecutive year receiving this award.  Trey was previously recognized as a Rising Star by Super Layers Magazine from 2012 through 2017, making this his ninth consecutive honor from the publication.  Satie Munn and Kevin Cleys were selected as 2020 Rising Stars by Super Lawyers Magazine. This is Kevin’s first year receiving this award for Civil Litigation. This is Satie’s second consecutive year receiving the award for Rising Star in Estate and Trust Litigation. Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top…

  • Blog Post

    INTERPRETATION OF A WILL: WHAT DO PER CAPITA AND PER STIRPES MEAN?

    The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently released an opinion in the matter Brawley v. Sherrill.  The parties were disputing the interpretation of a will, which provided per capita distribution of estate assets to the testator’s children, but per stirpes distribution to her grandchildren.  What do these terms mean, and how do they work together in the same estate plan?   Per Capita and Per Stirpes Defined   For estate plans, the term “surviving” identifies individuals who are alive at the time the testator (the individual leaving the Will) dies.   A per capita distribution plan divides estate assets equally to surviving heirs at the level of descendancy stated in…

  • Blog Post

    JEFFREY EPSTEIN TRUST

    Millionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein killed himself on August 10, 2019 while in prison awaiting trial for charges including federal sex trafficking.  Shortly before his death, Epstein signed a pour-over will placing approximately $577 million in assets into a trust.  Many believe the creation of this trust was an attempt by Epstein to shield his vast wealth from civil lawsuits brought by his many accusers.  What is a pour-over will, and will Epstein’s attempt prove successful?   Pour-Over Wills   Pour-over wills are common tools for estate planning.  They are wills used in conjunction with a living trust.  When a settlor (the creator of a trust) creates a living trust, certain…

  • Blog Post

    TOM PETTY’S WIDOW, DAUGHTERS “WON’T BACK DOWN” IN TRUST DISPUTE

    Famed rock singer, Tom Petty, passed away in 2017.  Nearly two years later his widow, Dana York Petty, and his daughters from a previous marriage, Adria and Annakim Petty, remain embroiled in a legal dispute over the musician’s estate.  In the petition filed with the probate court in Los Angeles, California, Dana asserts her authority as the sole trustee of Petty’s trust.  This issue does not appear to be in dispute; however, Petty’s daughters contend they have full authority to manage Petty’s catalogue of music recordings.   Despite Petty’s efforts to avoid such a dispute by creating a trust with directives for managing its assets, Petty’s widow and daughters disagree…

  • Blog Post

    ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ that Aretha Franklin’s children have ‘Respect’ and Are Not a ‘Chain of Fools’

    American singer and songwriter Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16 at the age of 76 after battling advanced pancreatic cancer. In the days following her passing, her four sons filed documents with the Michigan Probate Court stating that Aretha passed without a will or trust, and claimed to be interested parties in her estate. Aretha’s niece, Sabrina Garrett Owens is the personal representative to administer the estate. When a person dies with a will, the probate court uses that and other documents (such as a trust), to guide them in determining the proper distribution of the deceased’s assets. However, when a person dies without a will, or “intestate,” their…

  • Firm News

    Trey Lindley Selected as a 2018 North Carolina Super Lawyer in Estate and Trust Litigation

    Lindley Law is pleased to announce Trey Lindley was selected as a 2018 Super Lawyer in Estate and Trust Litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine making this his seventh consecutive honor from the publication. He was selected as a Rising Star in Estate and Trust Litigation in 2017 and a Rising Star in Business Litigation from 2012 to 2016. Super Lawyers Magazine recognizes outstanding attorneys using a multi-step process that involves soliciting nominations from attorneys across North Carolina (lawyers are not allowed to vote for themselves), a third-party evaluation across 12 key categories, and a peer evaluation by a highly credentialed panel of attorneys. Finalists have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional…

  • Firm News

    Trey Lindley Selected as a 2017 North Carolina Rising Star in Estate and Trust Litigation

              Lindley Law is pleased to announce Trey Lindley was selected as a Rising Star in Estate and Trust Litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine making this his sixth consecutive Rising Star award with the previous five for Business Litigation.           Super Lawyers Magazine recognizes outstanding attorneys who are 40 or under, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.  The multi-step process involves soliciting nominations from attorneys across the state (lawyers are not allowed to vote for themselves), followed by a thorough case-by-case review of each nominee.  Nominees have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  No more than 2.5%…