Digital Library

Articles Written by Danielle and Andy

The news broke earlier this week that the divorce proceeding between Big Bang Theory actress Kaley Cuoco and professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting just became a great deal more complicated than originally reported. Perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising.  After all, Cuoco recently was named as Forbes’ highest paid TV actress for 2015 (in a tie with Sofia Vergara), with $28.5 million ...

James Dean was the iconic rebel without a cause.  The James Dean Estate, on the other hand, has been driven by a cause — maximizing the value of his image and likeness.  But was it taken too far when his heirs sued Twitter?  This is installment #16 of our Estate Planning Lessons From The Stars series, which is based on the ...

When is a divorce more than just a divorce?  When famed actor Dennis Hopper battled through an ugly divorce against his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy-Hopper, the battle was more about Dennis Hopper‘s estate than anything else.  So perhaps no one should be surprised that the war turned uglier once Dennis died.  This is installment #15 of our Estate Planning Lessons ...

After a six-month coma, the life of Whitney Houston‘s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, has tragically ended.  Just how tragic her short life really was may not be known for some time.  But the details that have emerged are nothing short of heart-wrenching, if the allegations of a recently-filed lawsuit filed on behalf of Bobbi Kristina prove to be true. According to ...

As gay, lesbian, and other proponents of same-sex marriages celebrate the United States Supreme Court‘s landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, millions of Americans will now be eligible for dramatically different legal rights upon the death or disability of a life partner than were previously possible. In fact, in the field of estate planning— including planning for not only what happens ...

As owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, Tom Benson, is used to being in control. He worked his way up from humble beginnings, starting as a used-car salesman, to owner of multiple car dealerships, banks, real estate, and a television station. Of course, Benson is most well-known for owning the NFL’s Saints franchise, which he purchased in ...

The late Riley B. King — better known as blues legend B.B. King — often said that the only woman in his life was his guitar, Lucille.  But that wasn’t exactly true.  King estimated that he had 15 children by 15 different women.  No wonder one of his biggest hits was called, When Love Comes To Town. B.B. King took ...

What would it be like to grow up in a 123-room mansion in a swanky Los Angeles suburb, rubbing elbows with celebrities, and buying anything you want?  Sounds pretty great — unless it was all taken away from you as an adult.  As Tori Spelling wrote in her autobiography, it’s not easy going from having a silver spoon in your ...

Kerri Kasem, the daughter of the late American Top 40 DJ, Casey Kasem, has been on a mission to make sure what happened to her and her siblings does not happen to others. When her father’s health deteri orated from Parkinson’s disease, it sparked an ugly court battle between his children and his wife, Jean Kasem, which did not ...

Blues great B.B. King, who is now 89 years old and suffers from diabetes and other health problems, is the subject of a bitter dispute over management of his care and assets. The battle pits his longtime business manager, Laverne Toney, against a handful of his 11 surviving children. King fathered and adopted a total of 15 children, from ...

It began with an anonymous court filing pitting “John Doe” against “Jane Doe.” It didn’t take long for Jane and John to be identified publicly as Modern Family‘s Sofia Vergara and creator of the Onion Crunch, Nick Loeb. Formerly engaged to be married, the ex-couple now is heading to court battling against each other over what could ...

There’s nothing like a hit song to keep heirs dancing down the road to the bank — even when that song wasn’t written, composed, or sung by the celebrity singer who died. The heirs of Marvin Gaye hit it big with a judgment against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement based on their chart-topping song Blurred Lines … ...

As the movie, American Sniper, enjoys box office success, questions and controversies surround the estate of Chris Kyle.  One of his biggest critics is Jesse Ventura, the always-outspoken former professional wrestler and potential presidential candidate. Ventura recently explained in an interview with Howard Stern on SiriusXM that “Chris Kyle is not a hero. A hero must have an honor, and a ...

Yes, Tom Benson has a great deal more money and power than most of us.  How much?  Try $1.9 billion, according to the annual Forbes rankings. Indeed, there are only 350 richer people in the whole country.  The successful owner of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, Benson built a wide-ranging empire of car dealerships, banks, various ...

Widely beloved throughout the world of baseball, especially in Chicago, Ernie Banks — a/k/a Mr. Cub — rose from humble beginnings.  He began his career earning seven dollars a day in the Negro Leagues, before crossing the color barrier and becoming the Chicago Cubs’ most popular player ever. After his playing career, Banks has been widely respected as a positive role model in ...

Unquestionably, Marlon Brando was one of the leading actors of the 20th century.  The well-known Godfather was always in firm control … until it came to his estate that is. This is installment #12 of our Estate Planning Lessons From The Stars series, which is based on the Celebrity Legacies TV show for which we provide commentary as the estate legal experts. See ...

Elizabeth Taylor is known for many things: her successful acting career, recognition as perhaps the ultimate icon of Hollywood glitz and glamour, standing up as a champion for AIDS research, her popular perfume, and, of course, her string of failed marriages. Failed nuptials aside, almost everything Liz Taylor touched turned to gold.  But what about her estate? Did she prepare ...

Marilyn Monroe left a legacy that seems to grow brighter each year.  Monroe’s image and likeness were so valuable that a multi-million dollar lawsuit over her publicity rights raged on, more than fifty years after she died, until it was finally resolved by a federal court of appeals. The second wife of Marilyn Monroe‘s acting coach was in the center of ...

When someone mentions Farrah Fawcett, most people think of her looks.  But what about her brains — her financial savvy in particular?  The actress and model who rose to fame as one of Charlie’s Angels planned well to protect her troubled son, Redmond, after she passed away.  Yet all was not angelic when it came to her financial legacy. This is installment ...

When Robin Williams tragically committed suicide six months ago, he left behind three children from his first two marriages (ages 23 to 31) and a widow of less than three years, Susan Schneider Williams. Unlike many celebrities, Robin Williams took the time to create thoughtful and detailed estate plan, including various trusts to benefit both Susan and his three children. The ...

The popularity of the Duke has never waned. But are John Wayne‘s heirs going too far in profiting off of his legacy? And what does Duke University have to say about it? This is installment #8 of our Estate Planning Lessons From The Stars series, which is based on the Celebrity Legacies TV show for which we provide commentary as the estate legal ...

News of Glee star Cory Monteith‘s death by cocaine and alcohol overdose on July 13, 2013 stunned his fans across the world.  The heartthrob actor was only 31.  He had struggled with drug addiction since he was a teenager. Cory’s mother attributed his struggles with drugs at an early age due to the lack of a relationship with his father.   In ...

Everyone loves a good rags-to-riches tale.  But Francesca Gabor Hilton’s life followed a dramatically different path.  Born to Hollywood star Zsa Zsa Gabor, and founder of the famed Hilton hotel dynasty, Conrad Hilton, Francesca was raised living in mansions, attending celebrity parties, earning blue ribbons in horse-riding competitions, and jet-setting to Rome and Paris, among other fashionable cities.  But her ...

Joan Rivers was widely respected for her sense of humor, work ethic, and willingness to say almost anything for a laugh.  When it came to planning her estate, Rivers treated it as no laughing matter. Joan Rivers‘ last will and testament was signed on November 16, 2011.  A thorough and well-drafted legal document, her will named a living trust as ...

Sure the holidays are a fun time for families to sit around talking about what happened on the latest episode of The Walking Dead or how granddaughter Mary is doing in dance class.  But they are also a great time to have the important — yet often difficult — conversations about estate planning.  What happens when Mom dies?  Does anyone know where ...

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