Estate of Denial news clips (week of 8/2/15)

Shrink convinced patient to be her lover, write her into $7M will: docs (NY)

New York Post

July 29, 2015

A Manhattan shrink turned the doctor’s maxim “Do no harm” on its head when she convinced her wealthy patient to be her lover and then persuaded the drugged-up woman to make her the beneficiary of her $7 million will before she died, according to court papers.


Judges who overturned mother’s will prove again that our money is not our own (UK)

The Daily Mirror

August 1, 2015

It is becoming more and more apparent that our money is not our own.

Increasingly, although the state ­claims its aim is letting us keep more of our cash, it is busy taking more of it away and ultimately ­dictating what you can do with it.

You can’t buy, sell, give away or invest anything without handing over a chunk to the Government.


Court Allows the Ray Charles Foundation to Challenge Termination Claims of Charles’ Heirs (CA)


July 31, 2015

A panel of three judges for the U.S. District Court of Central California has decided to allow the Ray Charles Foundation — the sole heir to Charles’ estate following his death in 2004 — to challenge a series of “terminations” served to Warner/Chappell Music.


Wayne Co. Probate Judge Terrance Keith, guardian Mary Rowan force vet Gayle Robinson, 84, to flee (MI)

Voice of Detroit

August 2, 2015

DETROIT – “It’s horrendous, unbelievable, like a nightmare,” Debbie Fox, daughter of Gayle Robinson, said about her mother ’s dealings with Wayne County Probate Court Judge Terrance Keith and his appointed guardian/conservator Mary Rowan.


Has freedom to name beneficiaries of a will been destroyed? (IRELAND)

The Irish News

August 3, 2015

IT’S difficult enough keeping any eye on your money while you’re living, but now it seems as though that will extend far into the afterlife!

The news that the Court of Appeal has overturned the specific requests inscribed in a will so that a daughter can inherit some of her mother’s estate has led to widespread astonishment.

This was not a muddled or confusing will or a mother who died intestate; this was a mother who wrote in her last will and testament that she did not want her daughter to receive a single penny. Instead, Melita Jackson wanted her £489,000 fortune to go to charity.


Britney Spears’ conservatorship ‘could last for the rest of her life’ despite her incredible comeback

Daily Mirror

August 3, 2015

Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship for the past seven years and it looks like it could last for the rest of her life.

The pop star was put under the conservatorship by her father, Jamie Spears, back in 2008 and reports now suggest that it will remain in place.


Positive outcomes of the Webber-Goodwin debacle (NH)


August 3, 2015

Aug. 1 — To the Editor:The probate ruling regarding the Webber estate is due any day. We expect the judge to rule in favor of Webber’s long-term friends, family members, and other beneficiaries (which includes the city for the purchase of new safety equipment for Portsmouth’s Police and Fire departments). But whatever the ruling, these beneficiaries have already won in the court of public opinion.

This is due, in good part, to the legion of citizens within and beyond the city who have:


Family drama overshadows Bobbi Kristina Brown’s funeral service (GA)

The Washington Post

August 2, 2015

The families of singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown gathered Saturday in Georgia for the private funeral of Bobbi Kristina Brown, the pair’s only child together.


Estate of Lygia Clark Ceases Authentication Amid Family Feud (BRAZIL)

August 3, 2015

The estate of Lygia Clark, Brazil’s most expensive artist, has announced that it has ceased authenticating works due to a legal dispute between the artist’s two sons.


Feud Over Mining Mogul’s Fortune Could Yield Charity Bonanza (AUS)

July 30, 2015

Australia’s richest person could contribute half her estimated $10 billion fortune to charity as part of a deal under discussion to end a bitter legal fight with her children, News Corp Australia and the Daily Mail write, citing The Australian newspaper.


How the Daughter of One of America’s Most Beloved Actors and Others Are Calling for Change

August 4, 2015

The Asbury Park Press Investigations Team ran a shocking four-part series exploring guardianship abuse. “Betrayal of Trust: Stealing From Seniors” features the story of a New Jersey elder law attorney and court-appointed guardian who stole millions of dollars from over 16 wards under her supervision, including seniors in their 80s and 90s.

The court-appointed guardian threw some elderly wards into nursing homes and sold the wards’ homes. She even changed their wills to financially benefit her at the time of the wards’ deaths, according to the article.

If you think that this case is rare, think again.


Defendant in Livermore financial elder abuse case gets one year in jail (CA)

Contra Costa Times

August 4, 2015

DUBLIN — A former J.P. Morgan Chase personal banker is behind bars at Santa Rita Jail beginning a one-year sentence for defrauding an elderly Livermore man with Alzheimer’s disease out of his life savings.


Lawsuit: Marathon attorney ripped off dead woman’s estate (FL)


August 5, 2015

Marathon probate attorney Richard Warner says a federal lawsuit accusing him of extortion is without merit.

Carolyn Ellis of Salinas County, Calif., filed the suit last Thursday. Her mother was Marathon resident Sally Buehler, who died in May 2011. The suit focuses on Buehler’s estate.


Connecticut Is Now Most Expensive Place to Die in U.S.

August 5, 2015

New probate fees in Connecticut have made it the most expensive place to die, making some wealthy residents wonder if they can afford to live there.


Billionaire tortilla titan’s death leaves heirs battling over his empire (TX)

Dallas Business Journal

August 5, 2015

The death of the founder and chairman of Irving-based tortilla manufacturer Gruma Corp. threatens to flatten one of North Texas’ largest companies as the businessman’s family and purported heirs fight over his $4 billion-plus fortune.


Ernie Banks case: Two sides to try to settle dispute about Cub great’s will

Chicago Tribune

August 6, 2015

The widow of Ernie Banks is scheduled to meet in person next month with the longtime caretaker named as the sole beneficiary in his will to see if they can come to a resolution on how to divide up the slugger’s estate.


Elderly millionaire’s estate battle takes a surprising turn (TX)

San Antonio Express-News

August 6, 2015

There are few cases in our civil-court system more painful than those that deal with conflicts over guardianship of the elderly.

They bitterly divide families — turning siblings against each other, and children against parents. They also force proud, accomplished people to have their basic mental competence tested, dissected and discussed.

San Antonio recently experienced a prominent case of this kind, when the heirs of billionaire car dealer Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, filed suit to remove him as trustee of a Texas trust fund, arguing that Benson was not competent to manage his own affairs.

Two months ago, I wrote about a similarly bitter San Antonio probate case, this one involving Hattie Poole, a widely admired 85-year-old millionaire and philanthropist whose late husband, Duane, passed away in 2012.


Murderer’s Family Faces Roadblock to Inheritance (FL)

Courthouse News Service

August 7, 2015

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CN) – The family of a woman who had her millionaire husband bludgeoned to death have stumbled in the path to inheriting his fortune.

Six years after wealthy businessman Ben Novack Jr. was found dead in a Westchester, N.Y., hotel room, tied up with his eyes sliced out, his estate remains the subject of a Florida court battle, with his wife’s family hoping to inherit the bulk.