Monday, June 27, 2016

Broken Refrigerator

Scraping a bit for probate and will related news this week. William "Refrigerator" Perry shot to stardom as the large defensive lineman who sometimes played running back for the awesome 1985 Chicago Bears. He allegedly could dunk a basketball even though he weighed 300 pounds. He now lives in South Carolina under a legal guardianship created by his brother when he was near death 7 years ago. Fridge's son wants to remove the brother as guardian while a court has stated that the guardianship can be removed if Fridge files the appropriate paperwork. Fridge, meanwhile, spends his days drinking with various friends, walking assisted by a walker, and generally not taking care of his health.
Several points:
1. Any interested party can apply to be the guardian of another with the supporting medical documentation. The son could have applied to serve as guardian in 2009 but did not.
2. Guardians are compensated for their services. Despite the son's allegations, the $1,250 annual compensation received by the brother is not the reason he continues to serve as guardian of Fridge.
3. A guy who starts drinking first thing in the morning and is unmotivated to file paperwork to remove a guardianship likely still needs the protection of the guardianship.
4. This has bothered me for 30 years. It has always been reported that Fridge could dunk a basketball. How hard would it have been to ask him to do it? It is not as if basketball courts are as scarce in this country as bobsled courses.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Who Is Philthy?

Phil Taylor, also known as Philthy Animal, was the drummer for Motorhead. He died of liver failure last November. Prior to his death, he divorced his wife of 15 years who he had not seen since several weeks after their wedding.  He also omitted her from his will. His estate was rumored to be worth $10 million.
Stretching to make several points:
1. In Ohio, a spouse can elect to receive 1/3 of the assets passing through the probate estate even if omitted from the will.
2. A former spouse has no statutory rights so Taylor was wise to finalize the divorce prior to his death.
3. I am surprised that someone with Taylor's reputation for wild behavior was able to organize his affairs to divorce his long missing spouse and prepare a will omitting her, just in case, prior to his death.
4. $10 million is a lot of money for the drummer of the 'worst band in the world". Of course, the Kardashians are Exhibit A that talent and net worth are not correlated.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Props to Jetblue Passengers

A woman was on a Jetblue flight to Orlando to attend the funeral of her grandson who was murdered last weekend by the Islamic terrorist. A Jetblue flight attendant whispered to each passenger about signing a sheet of paper to show their support for her. She wound up needing many pieces of paper because people were writing paragraphs of compassion for the grandmother. When the woman left the plane, every single passenger hugged her.

Read the whole article. Have your Kleenex at hand.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Shake Down the Thunder

Aubrey McLendon was an Oklahoma City businessman who made his fortune in the energy business. He died in a March auto accident the day after he was indicted for allegedly rigging the price of oil and gas leases. He also owned 20% of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Attorneys for one of the lenders to his business have already filed motions in the probate court asking for input into the sale price of his interest in the NBA team. They fear the estate will sell it to his widow for less than the maximum price even though it is not currently for sale. They stated that the primary purpose of the probate court is to protect the interest of creditors.
Several quick points:
1. Under Ohio law, creditors have six months from the date of death to file a claim to protect their interest.
2, Once the claim is filed, they sit back and wait for the estate to be settled. Distributions may not be made until the creditor's claim has been paid.
3. I love it when high priced corporate lawyers bring their white shoes, prestigious degrees, high billable rates, and commensurate bluster to the serene probate area where the purpose, contrary to their belief about protecting creditors, is to ensure the orderly transfer of assets pursuant to a decedent's wishes in due time. Actually, I do not love it - I find it annoying.

Back From Vacation

Just returned from a week in the Caribbean. The British Virgin Islands are special. Post to follow soon. Meanwhile, here is the family pic from Cooper Island Beach Club.