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Chain of Fools

When Aretha Franklin died last week after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, she allegedly did not leave a will. She is survived by her four sons, one of whom has special needs, who will receive equal shares of her estate. Her niece asked to be appointed as representative of her $80 million estate. Aretha’s copyright attorney told reporters that when there is no will, “there will always end up being a fight.”

Some points of relevant interest:

1. No one wins a long battle with pancreatic cancer. See Jobs, Steve.  Prepare a will.

2. When a woman dies without a will, there should not be much to dispute because there are no illegitimate children to contest heirship.

3. The niece’s fee for serving as personal rep. could be $1.6 million.  One of the sons should have dibs on this role.

4. Surprisingly, Madonna did not ask to be appointed as personal representative.  

Photo Credit:  Jae C. Hong/AP

License:  Fair Use/Education (from linked article)

Seether

In a story only tangentially related to estate planning, Victoria Salt died when she was 2 days old. Her father, George, visited her grave in Manchester, England semi-annually since 1988. On a recent visit, he learned that her grave was actually in a different part of the cemetery because the marker had been in the wrong place. He said he was gobsmacked by this revelation.

Three points of no significance:

1. This is sad for Mr. Salt who showed incredible love for his daughter.

2. Americans should adopt gobsmacked as part of the vernacular.

3. The grave surrounded by squirrels is Veruca Salt’s.

Photo Credit:  Google Earth images

License:  Fair Use/Education (in linked article)

Laughing At Death

0bituary
When a Richmond, VA woman died last week, her obituary read “Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass (into the eternal love of God).
 
No pithy comments, she already made one.
 
 

Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Musicians

In light of Prince’s untimely death, the below chart is fascinating. Most common age of death for pop stars is 56. Mercifully, the trend line is up.  Full story here.

Staying A Head

immortality-photos-slide-Q7WJ-superJumboIn a slow week in celebrity estate news, the only newsworthy item is an NYT article about cryonics and a young woman who had her brain preserved upon her death from cancer 2 years ago.  To raise the $80K needed to pay for the freezing of her brain until her brain can be brought back to life in the future, she and her boyfriend posted a plea on Reddit.   A post-death brain scan has shown that the chemo-preservatives needed to protect her brain from ice damage only reached the outer level of her brain.

Several points, mostly dorm room existential:

1.  If you could be brought back to life, but everyone you knew had died, would you still want to be brought back?

2.  If you are the boyfriend and your long dead girlfriend was brought back to life, would you leave your current spouse and family to be with her?

3.  If 80% of your dead girlfriend’s brain is damaged by the freezing, would she still be the person you would want to be with?

4.  Would Bill Clinton preserve Hillary’s brain?  Or vice versa?  I think we all know this answer.

5.  If the young woman ever wanted Ted Williams’ autograph, or to meet Walt Disney, cryopreservation was her only hope.

 

 

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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.