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Suspicious Minds

It has been a slow month for celebrity estate planning news. Lisa Marie Presley is embroiled in a lawsuit with her financial manager claiming he mismanaged her $100 million trust and left her with $14,000. She alleges that the manager sold 85% of her ownership in Elvis Presley Enterprises in 2005 for $100 million but invested most of the proceeds in the company which owned American Idol which filed for bankruptcy in 2016. She is also in the midst of a divorce from her fourth husband who is seeking $263,000 in annual alimony payments. She claims to owe $10 million in back taxes and $6 million in other debts.

Lots to digest.

1. The manager has countersued for $800K for unpaid investment fees. He alleges that Lisa Marie has a spending problem.

2. Allegedly, $20 million of the $100 million sales proceeds were used to pay off debts she had accumulated at the time.

3. Lisa Marie’s mother was concerned enough about her ability as a high school dropout to manage the inheritance that she was able to delay the distribution from Elvis’ trust until she turned 30.

4. Call it a hunch, but I suspect that Lisa Marie’s drug abuse, uncontrolled spending, and four marriages have as much to do with the financial straits as poor fiscal management.

Photo credit:  Unknown

License:  Fair Use/Education (from linked article)

Of Memorabilia and Men

Willie DeLuca was the manager of famed Cincinnati restaurant, Sorrentos Pizzeria. He was famous for having a heart of gold, appearing on David Letterman to balance stuff on his nose, and collecting sports and entertainment memorabilia (including hair from JFK and Paul McCartney) that he valued at $1 million. DeLuca died in 2006 and left his entire estate in a testamentary trust to his only child, Enrico. The trust funds and memorabilia were distributed to Enrico when he turned 21 several years ago. Enrico is now suing his uncle, Art DeLuca, for allegedly taking some of the memorabilia that was left to him by his father. The uncle had posted some of the items for sale on Facebook recently.

Several small points:

1. I never prepare testamentary trusts for my clients because they are a public record. A living trust is private and more flexible.

2. I also never advise my clients to have a trust distribute all of its assets when the child turns 21 – that age is too young for most children to manage the inheritance responsibly.

3. Enrico might have a statute of limitations problem with proving his claim because Willie died 10+ years ago and Enrico is only now filing suit.

4. Posting items for sale on Facebook which are a public record as belonging to Willie’s estate and trust is not advisable.

5. Hair snippets from JFK and Paul McCartney? How does one acquire those? Regardless, I would not give a nickel for them.

Photo Credit:   Cincinnati Enquirer/File Photo

License:  Fair Use/Education 

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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.