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That Is Not Amore

johns pizza

 

Madeline Castellotti was the co-owner of famed NYC pizzeria, John’s Pizzeria.  Prior to her death in 2004, she changed her will to leave her entire interest in the restaurant to her daughter, Lisa.  She allegedly did so because her son, Peter, was going through a divorce and she did not want his estranged wife to receive any interest in the restaurant.  Lisa was supposed to transfer half of her inheritance to Peter after the divorce was finalized.  When she did not, Peter sued Lisa.  An NY appeals court recently ruled that his 3 year old lawsuit may proceed.  

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If I Read It In the National Enquirer, It Must Be True

Lois Pope, widow of the founder of the National Enquirer, is seeking a restraining order against her son for allegedly stalking her while demanding money.  When the family sold the tabloid in 1988, Mrs. Pope received $200 million and her son received $20 million which she claims he spent by 2008.  She gave him another $16 million which he has allegedly spent.  In a television interview, he complained that she has spent $40+ million on 2 private jets, $2 million on international vacations, and made large gifts to nieces and nephews.

Several points:

1.  A trust would have helped the son manage and preserve his funds.

2.  The trust could have tied distributions to income earned by him which would have forced him to get a job, which apparently he has never held.

3.  If the mom gave her son $16 million, she was obligated to file a gift tax return and pay taxes at a 35% – 45% rate.

4.  If mom wants to buy planes and use them for flying her dogs around the country, she may do that and the son is powerless to complain.

5.  If the son wants more money from his mom, he should refrain from criticizing her on television.  The old axiom about not biting the hand that feeds would seem to apply.

 

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All Posts By Jay Brinker

I am an attorney located in Cincinnati, Ohio who practices in the areas of estate planning, probate, asset protection, and small business advice. I make a difficult and bewildering process as simple as possible. Most importantly, I provide "more for less" for my clients.