Monday, January 21, 2019

Addressing the Scourge of Our Times

Newtown police chief, Tom Synan, was featured in a video on USA Today's site about his work on the front line combating opioid addiction and treating it as an illness and not as a crime. I am honored to call him a friend.



Photo Credit:  USA Today (actually it is from the video)
License:  Fair Use/Education (from linked article)

Identity Theft?

Jeanne Calment has been considered the world's longest lived person since she died at the age of 122 in 1997. She allegedly smoked until she could not light a cigarette without assistance. Recently, a Russian gerontologist and a Russian mathematician have questioned her longevity and floated the theory that Calment stole her mother's identity for the purposed of avoiding French inheritance taxes in the 1930's. Their theory is that she did not look or act that old. The result would be that Calment was only 99 when she died.
Only three points:
1. I always enjoyed the part of Calment's bio where she sold her apartment when she was 90 to a man who agreed to pay her a monthly sum until she died. She outlived him by two years so he wound up paying 2X for the real estate.
2. Like many points of French governance, the estate tax laws are complicated. Nonetheless, the tax rates are not so confiscatory that compliance merits identity theft as a means of avoidance.
3. Is there any type of disinformation campaign that Russians will not engage in?


Photo Credit:  Reuters
Licnese:  Fair Use/Education

Happy New Year (Belated)

Best wishes for the new year. And no, Jack is not taller than me.  😀



Saturday, December 15, 2018

End of Year TML

I subbed for Paul Daugherty's The Morning Line blog in the Cincinnati Enquirer yesterday. I reviewed the year in sports with a Cincinnati perspective. I hope you like it.



Melvin and Howard

Dummar allegedly found a disheveled Hughes near a Nevada brothel and gave him a ride to The Sands hotel in 1967. After Hughes’ death in 1976, an unknown man delivered a letter to Dummar, who was then living in Utah, for forwarding to the Church of Latter Day Saints. Before delivering it, Dummars steamed it open and saw that he and the Mormon Church were listed as beneficiaries of the will. Hughes was not a Mormon, but Dummars was. The will was one of 40 wills purportedly made by Hughes none of which were deemed to be valid.
A valid will for Hughes was never found resulting in his fortune benefitting distant cousins and other relatives. Hughes reportedly did not want his relatives to benefit from his fortune. Dummar’s alleged encounter with Hughes was made into the award winning movie, “Melvin and Howard,” in 1980.
Several points:
1. As a single man with no children and no siblings, Hughes definitely should have prepared an estate plan to distribute his billions.
2. As a man who dated Katherine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, and Gloria Vanderbilt among others, it is doubtful that Hughes frequented a brothel hours from Las Vegas although his penchant for not cutting his hair and fingernails were likely a turn off for many women.
3. If this incredible story were not already made into a movie, it screams of material that needs to be made into a movie.


Photo Credit:  United Press International
License:  Fair Use/Education (from linked article)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

(Not) Gentle On His Mind (Part 2)

I previously noted that Glen Campbell’s 3 children from his second marriage were contesting his will which he signed in 2006. The will omitted them, likely due to their supporting their mother during her divorce from Campbell and later suing him over the publishing rights she received in the settlement. His 2001 will also omitted them. The children recently dropped their lawsuit.

A few points:

1. The lawsuit would have been difficult to win because Campbell made both wills long before he went public with his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

2. Campbell’s estate was recently valued at $1.2 million which is way less than the original estimate of $50 million.

3. If the omitted children were successful in challenging Campbell’s estate plan, they would have inherited $100K each tops.

4. The money for recording artists is in the writing and publishing not the performing. Campbell generally performed songs written by others.

5. Three divorces, 8 children, and years of cocaine use are never conducive to accumulating wealth.



Photo credit:  Larry McCormack/The Tennessean
License:  Fair Use/Education (from linked article)