- Wednesday, 21 August 2019 21:57
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)
- Thursday, 15 August 2019 22:03
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 from linked article)
License: Fair Use/Education (from linked article)
- Thursday, 25 July 2019 18:28
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: Free Use/Education (from linked article)
- Friday, 12 July 2019 16:35
CNN news anchor, Anderson Cooper, is the son of Gloria Vanderbilt who died last month at the age of 95. She in turn was the great-great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt. She left all of her estate to Cooper save for her $1.2 million Manhattan co-op which she left to her son, Stan Stokowski.
Gloria Vanderbilt inherited a trust fund worth $35 million in today’s dollars when she turned 21. She also rode the wave of the designer jeans trend in the late 1970’s with her eponymous fashion which was worth $100 million at one time. Initial reports soon after her death speculated that she was worth $200 million. Probate Court filings have since revealed that she only owned her co-op and $1.5 million.
Several points, none too shocking:
1. The data about her net worth would be private if Vanderbilt had used a funded trust for her estate planning.
2. Rare is the fortune that lasts five generations before it is dissipated.
3. Four divorces, dedication to philanthropy, advisors who embezzle, and living into one’s 90s deplete one’s assets.
4. An incredibly gifted plastic surgeon will also deplete assets.
Photo Credit: Unknown
License: Fair Use/Education