Estate of Denial news clips (2/15/16)

Bill to alter state’s guardianship laws moves to House on 6-5 vote (UT)

Deseret News

February 11, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY — Legislation that would remove the requirement that potential wards have legal representation in guardianship proceedings under limited circumstances is before the Utah House of Representatives.

HB101, sponsored by Rep. Fred Cox, R-West Valley City, received a favorable recommendation from the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday on a 6-5 vote.


When Family Fortunes Beget Vicious Power Struggles

New York Times

February 11, 2016

Consider the plight of Shari Redstone, the daughter of the billionaire media mogul Sumner Redstone.

Much of her family’s fortune is tied to the ailing 92-year-old Mr. Redstone. He owns 80 percent and she owns 20 percent of National Amusements, the private business that controls two giant media companies — Viacom and CBS. Upon Mr. Redstone’s death, his interest passes to a trust with his grandchildren as beneficiaries.


Hobart financial planner Kenneth Drake admits stealing $925000 from 94yo client (AUS)

ABC Online

February 12, 2016

Kenneth David Drake was remanded in custody at his own request after pleading guilty to one charge of stealing.

The 60-year-old admitted stealing the money from his elderly client over six years.


Portsmouth OKs $579K to lawyer for overturning cop’s inheritance (NH)

February 12, 2016

PORTSMOUTH — The city has endorsed an agreement that calls for paying attorney David Eby $579,240 for his work overturning an inheritance that was once left to fired police Sgt. Aaron Goodwin.

If approved by Judge Gary Cassavechia, the agreement pays Eby from the estate of the late Geraldine Webber, who left the Portsmouth police and fire departments one-half of her fortune, after bills and smaller beneficiaries are paid. Goodwin had secured a subsequent will for Webber, that left him most of her $2.7 million estate, while reducing the police and fire inheritances to $25,000 each. But Cassavechia ruled in August that Goodwin exerted undue influence over the elderly woman, prior to her 2012 death, and the judge ordered that her prior will be reinstated.


Battle between Tom Benson, daughter Renee over Texas trust fund to be settled next week (TX/LA)

The New Orleans Advocate

February 12, 2016

A judge in San Antonio has set a Feb. 19 court date for settling the Texas trust fund battle between Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and his daughter, Renee Benson.

Attorneys for both sides attended a status conference Friday in San Antonio and presented enough details of the agreement to satisfy Bexar County Probate Court Judge Tom Rickhoff that talks were proceeding appropriately, said Phillip Wittmann, an attorney for Tom Benson.


When the Supposed Experts Lead Buyers Astray

The New York Times

February 12, 2016

Trust the experts, the saying goes.

But what happens when the experts can’t be trusted?

That’s the question wealthy investors are asking after a string of cases in which advisers or sellers with blue-chip reputations have been accused of either staggering incompetence or outright fraud that led to multimillion-dollar losses.


Legal dispute in fight over Rosa Parks’ coat (MI)

New York Daily News

February 12, 2016

A lawyer involved in a battle over Rosa Parks’ estate will be vetted for claims he made against a judge and two others in a fight over a coat the civil rights icon may have worn during her bus protest.

The hearing, scheduled for Thursday in Michigan, will examine bold allegations made by attorney Steven Cohen, according to the Detroit News.


Tom Benson family feud: Texas settlement to be finalized in one week (TX/LA)

The Times-Picayune

February 12, 2016

A legal settlement between Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and his estranged daughter over a disputed family trust fund — for now being kept secret — is set to be finalized in a courtroom in San Antonio in one week, an attorney involved in the litigation said Friday (Feb. 12).

Bexar County Probate Judge Tom Rickhoff on Friday asked attorneys for the 88-year-old billionaire and his daughter Renee Benson to present orders on Feb. 19 that would implement the settlement agreement, which was reached after a  mediation session last month.