Articles Tagged with Estate

Arm wrestling over moneyLong before America was officially involved in World War II, that is, before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, there were Americans involved in the war. One group was the "Flying Tigers," an elite group of fighter pilots employed by the Chinese government in its fight against Japan. Phillip Epley, Sr., was a member of this group, more formally known as the American Volunteer Group. When Epley passed away in 2008, he left his entire estate, including his Flying Tiger jacket and other belongings, to his wife.

When she passed away in 2013, a dispute began over ownership of the jacket that Epley wore during the war. It's estimated value? $24,000. Penn Live has more on this story and the history of the Flying Tigers in "Rare WWII 'Flying Tigers' flight jacket focus of Pa. court battle."

Most of the memorabilia went to Epley's son, Robert Epley. However, one of the wife's sons, John Stull, removed the jacket from her home. Her other son, Daryl Stull, was named the executor of his mother's estate and repeatedly asked John to return the jacket. John refused.

Camera lensSeveral nude photographs of the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat were taken by his ex-girlfriend Paige Powell. The photographs, which were shown as part of an art exhibition in 2014, show Basquiat reclining on the bed, smiling at the camera. Subsequently, they were posted on several art websites.

One of those websites, Animal, posted the images in 2014.

The attorney for the artist's estate, however, recently sent a letter to the website demanding that the images be removed as they are disparaging to the artist. Powell claims that Basquiat was proud of his body and would want the photographs to be seen. Page Six reported this story in "Estate fighting release of Basquiat's nude photos."

Stack of law booksThere is a statue of limitation on every civil action in the United States. This refers to a restriction of the number of years from the time an action takes place until it can be prosecuted through the courts. Failure to act in a timely manner cost one family millions of dollars.

For twenty years before her death at the age of 104, copper heiress Huguette Clark lived in a private room at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. When she died in 2011, it appeared that there may not have been any medical reason for her to have been confined to her room.

Her executor filed a lawsuit against the medical center alleging that it had unnecessarily bilked Clark out of millions of dollars due to the confinement and through smarmy friendships. In total, the estate was seeking $95 million from the hospital.

Bowl of cherriesIf you expect to inherit assets from a successful parent, hope that they do not have a double life that involves criminal behavior. Property used to commit a crime or assets purchased with the profits of a criminal act are subject to civil forfeiture by government offices. If the person is deceased, their estate is vulnerable.

Arthur Mondella was a successful and colorful character. Heir to a family business founded in 1948, Dell’s Maraschino Cherries, Arthur was known for a larger-than-life personality and all the trappings of success The company generated annual revenues of approximately $20 million. But that was not, as it turned out, the sole source of his extravagant lifestyle.

While investigators were looking into an unrelated matter at his Brooklyn factory, they noticed a strong smell of marijuana. This led them to discover that some shelving hid an entrance to the basement, where Mondella had set up an illegal marijuana growing operation. Rather than face criminal charges for his activities, Mondella committed suicide. He left his estate, including the cherry business, to his three daughters and sister. Each received a share.

People on jetMost of us never look twice at the fine print of the frequent flier rewards program’s terms and conditions. The type is so small and there’s so much of it … but if you did, you’d probably see language stating that any accumulated points are not transferrable on death. Some heirs have found that having the right documents and asking nicely can lead to an unexpected result.

If you fly the same route frequently, it pays to use the same airline and sign up for the airline’s rewards program. The accrued points can lead to great deals, reduce your airfare costs and for the real road warrior, generate enough rewards for free trips. There’s real value in these kinds of programs for the frequent flier.

Nevertheless, not everyone uses his or her accumulated point balance before passing away. Since the accumulated points do have a real market value, the question then becomes whether or not they are part of a decedent's estate.

CalendarAn executor of an estate can easily get into trouble for not doing certain things, but an executor can also find themselves in trouble if they do certain things. An experienced estate planning attorney can help with navigating the do’s and don’ts of the executor’s tasks.

There are no lack of guidelines to help an executor or personal representative of an estate to understand the specific tasks and responsibilities that he or she has when managing an estate. Most guides, available online, at personal finance websites, in magazines and books, are written with an eye to the positive and provide a good outline of the tasks that need to be taken.

That can leave a lot of important information out, however, if the executor is not also given advice about what not to do doing during the process.

Dominoes falling“I would strongly urge anyone who is offered a lot of money for an alleged short-term loan to be very wary, as it is often a scam and a sure way to lose your hard-earned savings.”

Scammed by your own friend? Hey, it can happen. And not always in the way you may think.

Normally an inheritance scammer pretends to be an attorney or estate agent. They tell a potential victim that the victim has inherited a large fortune from an estranged or long lost relative. However, before the victim can get the inheritance, the scammer claims that the victim must cough up large sums of money to pay off taxes or other debts that the estate holds.

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