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Probate Wars of the Rich and Famous: An Insider's Guide to Estate Planning and Probate Litigation

Book Description

Surrogate Court dockets are filled with cases involving family members fighting over the assets and intentions of a deceased parent or spouse. Probate Wars of the Rich & Famous: An Insider's Guide to Estate Planning and Probate Litigation tracks the estate litigation cases of Anna Nicole Smith, Brooke Astor, Michael Jackson, Nina Wang, Jerry Garcia and Leona Helmsley and identifies the five universal factors that caused such disputes. Each chapter provides estate planning insights designed to help individuals plan their estates without causing litigation. If, however, probate litigation cannot be avoided, the book also provides invaluable lessons about undue influence claims, how to remove a fiduciary, demanding an estate accounting and claims seeking to set aside lifetime transfers that undermined the decedents intentions. Few - if any – estate planning books utilize colorful celebrity accounts to provide meaningful insights and actionable advice.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. About the Author
  7. Introduction
  8. Chapter 1: Legacy of a Lifetime
    1. Legacy Lesson #1: The Estate Planning Effect
    2. Legacy Lesson #2: Passing the Torch without Getting Burned
    3. Legacy Lesson #3: The Holistic Approach
    4. Legacy Lesson #4: Dropping the Gauntlet
  9. Chapter 2: Stripping and Being Stripped
    1. Legacy Lesson #5: The Elective Share and Prenuptial Agreement
    2. Legacy Lesson #6: Providing Equitably Both for a Second Spouse and Children from a Prior Marriage
    3. Legacy Lesson #7: Disinheriting a Family Member
  10. Chapter 3: The Astor Disaster: A Legacy of Influence and Undue Influence
    1. Legacy Lesson #8: Monitor the Health and the Wealth of a Loved One Who Is III and Vulnerable
    2. Legacy Lesson #9: Anatomy of a Contested Estate
    3. Legacy Lesson #10: Influence or Undue Influence?
    4. Legacy Lesson #11: By Gift or by Theft?
    5. Legacy Lesson #12: Time in a Bottle—Good Days and Bad Days
    6. Legacy Lesson #13: Protecting against Fraud
  11. Chapter 4: The Benevolent Queen of Mean
    1. Legacy Lesson #14: Protect the Pooch
    2. Legacy Lesson #15: The Grim Reaper’s Silver Lining
    3. Legacy Lesson #16: A Generation Skipped
    4. Legacy Lesson #17: Buried, But Not Resting Peacefully
    5. Legacy Lesson #18: The Mission Statement: A Legacy Builder or Buster
  12. Chapter 5: A Sweet and Sour Legacy
    1. The Nina Wang Signature
    2. Legacy Lesson #19: A Stitch in Time Saves Nine
    3. Legacy Lesson #20: Respecting the Formalities of a Will Signing
    4. Legacy Lesson #21: Clarity versus Ambiguity
    5. Legacy Lesson #22: Videotaping a Will Signing
  13. Chapter 6: Is This It?
    1. Legacy Lesson #23: Raising Helen
    2. Legacy Lesson #24: If You Want Privacy, Use a Revocable Trust
    3. Legacy Lesson #25: The Business of the Business
  14. Chapter 7: Lessons from the Dead
    1. Legacy Lesson #26: A Legacy in the Hands of Fiduciaries
    2. Legacy Lesson #27: Heirlooms Can Define a Legacy
  15. Chapter 8: At the End of the Day
  16. Appendix A: Fact Sheet for Last Will and Testament
  17. Appendix B: Probate Litigation Fact Sheet
  18. Bibliography
  19. Index