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Black Mamba Trust

This is not about trusting a black mamba. In fact, when we were in Zambia last year, we were advised not to walk to our cabin by ourselves because of the presence of black mambas (and hippos). I was skittish and hyper-aware the entire time.

When Kobe Bryant, aka the Black Mamba, died in January he left a trust for the benefit of his widow, Vanessa, and their daughters. The trust was last amended before the birth of his youngest daughter, Capri, who is not mentioned as a beneficiary. His widow has petitioned the LA Superior Court to add Capri as a beneficiary of the trust.

Several brief points:

1. When drafting a trust, I usually refer to “children” so clients do not have to amend their trusts when they have additional children. The exception is when there is the possibility of illegitimate children who should be excluded.

2. Kobe created his trust in 2003 and had amended it when each daughter was born, except for his youngest. Apparently, it is easy to get distracted and waste time when retired.

3. Kudos to Vanessa. Usually, people are suing to exclude people from a trust rather than include them.

Photo credit:  Vanessa Bryant/Instagram

License:  Fair Use/Education (from linked article)

Coma and Lamar

Lamar_KhloeLamar Odom remains in a coma in Las Vegas after being found unconscious in a Nevada brothel after going on a weekend bender with cocaine and herbal viagra. His estranged wife, Khloe Kardashian, is reportedly making his medical decisions for him even though they separated two years ago and signed their divorce papers in July.  Los Angeles divorce courts have a four month backlog of divorce cases.

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Jerry Buss the Sugar Daddy

Los Angeles Lakers owner, Jerry Buss, died in February at the age of 80.  He was known for epitomizing California cool and was often seen with one or more young women on his arm.  In his will, he left a Honolulu condo and a 2009 Bentley to his 20-something girlfriend, and the rest of his assets to his trust.

For privacy reasons, he could have transferred the condo and car to his trust, and made the bequest from the trust.  This also would have avoided the cost of ancillary probate in Hawaii.

Of course, privacy might have defeated the purpose of letting the world know that at the time of his death he was an 80 year old man with a late 20’s girlfriend.    Estate planning always has trade-offs.

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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.