Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Mile High Litigation

Pat Bowlen was the long time owner of the Denver Broncos. He died this past June of Alzheimer’s Disease. He created a trust in 2009 to hold and operate the Broncos.  In 2013, he stepped away from the team and turned control of it to the three trustees.

The trust provides that the trustees will pick one of his 7 children to operate the team. The trustees are reported to have selected his 29 year old daughter, Brittany. Meanwhile, his two daughters from his first marriage have filed suit challenging his competency to execute a trust in 2009 when he was allegedly exhibiting signs of Alzheimer’s in 2006. The trust has a no contest provision which would cause the eldest daughters to lose their entire share of the trust by contesting it.
Several points:

1. Bowlen could have been suffering from Alzheimer’s while still having the required capacity to sign a will and trust i.e. know his assets, his heirs, and what his planning accomplishes.

2. Call it a hunch, but if Bowlen was incapable of managing his affairs, the NFL would not have permitted him to run the Broncos until 2013.

3. It is hardly a news flash that a trust dispute pits children from a first marriage against children from the second marriage.

4. If Bowlen’s daughters wish to show their father was incompetent in 2009, they should point to the drafting of Tim Tebow in the first round by the Broncos.


Photo Credit:  Joe Amon for the Denver Post
License:  Fair Use/Education (from linked article)

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Pedophile Will

So my blog prognostication abilities continue to be abysmal. In addition to the coroner determining that Jeffrey Epstein hung himself, he actually prepared a will two days before he died.

Epstein’s will left everything to a trust he created the same day as his will. Of course, the trust beneficiaries and its terms are private. His will designates two long time employees as co-executors of his estate and provided that they would each receive $250K for serving in that capacity. Meanwhile, an attorney for one of the women suing Epstein claims that he was an evil genius for filing the estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Several quick points:

1. Epstein’s estate is being probated in the US Virgin Islands because that is where he was considered a resident. Estates are probated in the decedent’s state of domicile.

2. The NY Post’s expert who said the will was filed in the Virgin Islands due to privacy reasons and the attorney suing Epstein on behalf of his alleged victims who thinks the US Virgin Islands filings are pure evil are fools and need to brush up on probate law.

3. It is interesting that the executors have agreed to fill that role for $250K. The commissions for executors are set by statute. Typically, they would receive a percentage of the estate which would be at least 1% or $5.7 million in this matter.

4. The reporting by the NY Post and the NYT has been error filled on this matter. I expect shoddy reporting from them on matters involving President Trump and from the Cincinnati Enquirer, but not from the NYT on a story like this.



Photo Credit:  NY Post  Composite

License:  Fair Use/Education (from linked article)

Oh Me, Oh My

As I have written previously, when Aretha Franklin died last August, she was presumed to have died intestate (without a will). Her niece, Sabrina Owens, was then designated as the estate administrator. Since then, three handwritten documents purporting to be her will(s) have surfaced. Franklin’s youngest son, Kecalf Franklin, has asked the probate court to be appointed as representative of the estate. One of his brothers supports him in this request while two others oppose him. The filing of one brother said that Kecalf has never demonstrated the ability or willingness to support himself and lacks the financial knowledge to serve as executor. After a court hearing last week, for now, the niece remains in control of the estate with decisions subject to court approval.

Two points:

1, Kecalf does not seem qualified to serve as executor so keeping him out of the process seems good for now.
2. Gosh. If someone has pancreatic cancer, prepare a will. Time is of the essence.


Photo Credit:  Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press
License:  Fair Use/Education (from linked article)

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Sir Jeff

While we wait for the impending China crackdown in Hong Kong, the Jeffrey Epstein death remains the other big news topic. Epstein was not married nor did he have any alleged children. It is not known if he left a will or other estate planning documents.
Epstein was survived by his younger brother, Mark, who has two children. Epstein owned houses in NYC, Palm Beach, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. His net worth is reported to be $500 million although no one knows for certain nor the source of the wealth.
A few brief points:
1. Epstein supposedly made his money by assisting his clients with the minutiae of tax planning and other life details so it is hard to believe he did not leave a will and trust.
2. It is way too early to know his actual net worth and what claims will be brought against his estate.
3. For the sake of his heirs, they should hope that he was legally a resident of Florida or the U.S. Virgin Islands, neither of which has an estate tax, rather than New York which would tax his estate at a rate of 16%.
4. These complex estate issues will likely be determined sooner than the circumstances surrounding his death.
5. There might be some truth to the line “the person most surprised by the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein was Jeffrey Epstein.”


Photo Credit:  Unknown (from slideshow in linked article?)
License:  Fair Use/Education (from linked article)

Century Ride

Rode 104 miles today with Elliot Beraha and Alan Henning. Pic is from halfway point in Yellow Springs. We looked worse for the effort at the end.  😃


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Quick PSA

As college students head back to college, I wanted to remind parents that their college bound children should have a set of documents in place so the parents can access their medical info and make medical decisions if something terrible were to happen to their student. Once the child is 18, the child is in charge of their own decisions and hospitals do not automatically defer to the parents' decisions.
Students should have a health care power of attorney, HIPAA release, living will, and financial power of attorney. I prepare the set of documents for a reduced fee of $150.
Parents are on their own in trying to access their child's grades and tuition bills.
Pic is from Jack's first day at OSU last year.




Thursday, July 25, 2019

Bad Boy

Steve Bing is an American movie producer and “businessman” who is the father of Elizabeth Hurley’s son, Damian. He is also the father of Kira Kerkorian Bing, his daughter with former pro tennis player, Lisa Bonder. Bonder had duped her husband, billionaire Kirk Kekorian into thinking he was the biological father of Kira. Bing reportedly inherited nearly $600 million at the age of 18 from his grandfather’s trust. He dropped out of Stanford shortly thereafter. 

Bing and his out of wedlock children are in the news this week because Bing’s father, Peter Bing, went to court to attempt to exclude them from inheriting from a multi-millionaire dollar trust he created in 1980 for his then unborn grandchildren. The elder Bing and his trustee contend that it was not his intent for out of wedlock grandchildren to inherit from the trust. He claimed that he had never met his grandchildren and that Steve had no relationship with them. The elder Bing was likely prodded into the lawsuit by his daughter who has her own two children who would be the only trust beneficiaries if Steve Bing’s children were excluded. 

Several points, some of them obvious: 

1. Steve Bing is clearly a cad. 

2. Lisa Bonder was duplicitous. 

3. Steve Bing’s sister is duplicitous and manipulative. 

4. I am not a fan of creating trusts for grandchildren when it is uncertain how the children will be when they mature. 

5. The funds in this trust are more important to Steve Bing’s children than they are to his sister’s children because it is unlikely his children will inherit from him while she likely had $600 million of her own funds to leave to her children some day. 

6. Problems of the .o1 percent.


Photo Credit:  Estee Lauder
License:  Fair Use/Education (from linked article)