Entries tagged with “Heirs”

In Estate Planning, When Does "Equal" Mean "Unequal"?

Figuring out how to divide your estate can involve making tough choices.  This is particularly the case when there are multiple potential beneficiaries who have differing (and sometimes conflicting) expectations about what they’re going to inherit from a loved one’s estate.  In situations where the beneficiaries of the estate will be an individual’s children, a difficult decision can involve whether the estate is divided equally between them or whether different kids receive different shares.  A recent article from the Wall Street Journal considers some of the complications that can arise in both scenarios. Sometimes, a decision about how to divide... More

Gatti Estate Dispute Almost Settled?

Members of the family of Arturo Gatti appear to be close to settling litigation involving the deceased boxer’s estate.  Gatti died in 2009 and was survived by his wife, their son, and a daughter from another relationship.  Gatti’s cause of death is murky.  He was found dead in an apartment he was renting with his wife at a resort in Brazil.  Initially, Brazilian police identified Gatti’s wife as the prime suspect in his death and alleged that she’d strangled him with a purse strap while he slept.  However, the final report of an investigation into his death concluded that he... More

Court Battle Over James Brown's Estate Drags On

When James Brown died on December 25, 2006, he directed that his approximately $100 million fortune be held in a trust for the benefit of poor and needy children in Georgia and South Carolina.  Unfortunately, since Brown’s death his estate has been embroiled in litigation that shows no sign of ending any time soon.  Less than a month after Brown’s death, his fourth wife and his seven children challenged his will on the basis of mental incapacity or undue influence.  In 2009, the parties appeared to have reached a settlement with the Attorney General in South Carolina in which Brown’s... More

Marvel Wins Copyright Fight with Jack Kirby's Heirs

A judge in the US recently decided a dispute over the rights to various comic book characters between Marvel (and its parent, the Walt Disney Company) and the heirs of the late Jack Kirby.  Jack Kirby was a comic book artist and author who co-wrote some of Marvel’s most iconic comic book titles, including Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, and X-Men.  Marvel owns the right to those characters and, along with Disney, has made a fortune off various movie franchises involving them.  In the United States, copyright law provides that, in some circumstances, creators or their heirs can... More

Heirs Fight With Government Over Coins Worth Millions

An interesting estate dispute is being litigated in the United States over the ownership of exceedingly rare Depression-era gold coins.  The case, which is currently before a federal jury in Philadelphia, pits the heirs of the deceased gold dealer Israel Switt against the United States government.  At stake are ten $20 Double Eagle gold coins, minted in 1933, which currently carry a value of at least $7.59 million each.  Switt died in 1990 at the age of 95.  In 2003, his daugther found 10 Double Eagle gold coins in Switt’s safety deposit box.  The coins are dated 1933 and considered... More
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