Estate of Denial news clips (6/27/16)

The Perils of Probate Court in Retirement

March 10, 2016

After discovering that his philanthropist grandmother Brooke Astor was medically neglected, isolated from friends and living in squalor in a Manhattan Park Avenue duplex, Professor Philip Marshall was successful in replacing his father as power of attorney with a guardian who was a family friend.

“I petitioned the court for guardianship to save my grandmother and suggested Annette de la Renta,” said Marshall, a professor at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island.


Relying on portability can put estate at risk

Iowa Farmer Today

June 17, 2016

“Traditional” estate planning for a married couple would set aside the amount exempted from federal estate taxes at the first spouse’s death into a by-pass trust (also called a credit shelter or family trust) or a life estate for the benefit of the surviving spouse.

This type of plan provides income to the surviving spouse while protecting the assets, keeping the ownership out of the survivor’s estate for creditor protection (federal estate tax, state death tax, probate/administration costs, long-term medical expenses, subsequent marriage, inflation and generation-skipping taxes).


Tom Benson reaches deal in lawsuit over shares of Saints, Pelicans in final piece of family feud litigation (TX/LA)

The New Orleans Advocate

June 17, 2016

After more than a year of legal wrangling over nonvoting shares in his sports teams and various other business assets, Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson appears to have reached a settlement agreement with the officials overseeing trust funds benefiting his estranged daughter and grandchildren, wrapping up the last unresolved piece of litigation in a feud that has pitted Benson against members of his family for the past 18 months.

The Saints released a statement Friday announcing that Benson and the trust fund officials had struck a deal.

Although the case at the center of Friday’s agreement involved stock in the Saints and Pelicans, Benson was never at risk of losing control of his sports franchises. The controlling stock in the two franchises is in Benson’s sole possession, and he never put any of it in the trust funds involved in the suit.


Benson and his heirs reach settlement in contentious ownership battle (TX/LA)

San Antonio Express-News

June 17, 2016

San Antonio and New Orleans billionaire Tom Benson has reached a settlement in his legal battle with his heirs who were bidding to snatch ownership of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans from him in a federal trial that was set to begin on Monday.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the agreement will need approval by the National Football League and National Basketball Association before it can go into effect. It also appears to end Benson’s celebrated family court battles that have played out in Texas and Louisiana courtrooms over the last 18 months.


Ethics hearing on probate judge moves forward (ME)

Biddeford Journal Tribune

June 17, 2016

ALFRED — Citing the Dec. 31 end of York County Judge of Probate Robert M.A. Nadeau’s current term of office, Justice Robert Clifford said Thursday that he wants to hand over his findings to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court soon on ethics charges filed against the judge by a judicial oversight panel.

In January, the Maine Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability issued a report that asserts Nadeau breached judicial canons when making an abrupt schedule change in the probate court last year following the rejection by county commissioners of more pay and additional court hours.