Click here for the details.
Click here for the details.
November 29, 2011 in Estate Litigation and Will Contests of Rich and Famous, Estates of Rich and Famous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
3 Individuals in a wealthy CT suburb who had started their own money management firm bought a $1 ticket for the lottery and appeared with their attorney to announce they won a $254 million dollar power ball. They created a trust and are going to distribute a large portion of the money to various charities. A video and article about their win can be seen by clicking here.
Picture of 3 winners from Fox CT
ABC News Image of Conrad Murray in court with defense attorneys.
Conrad Murray Convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter as Nick Allen of The Telegraph reported this afternoon in the article linked to above. The reading of the verdict can be watched by clicking here.
Joe Jackson had filed wrong death case that was initially allowed to proceed but was being challenged by Dr. Murray based on standing since he was not the personal representative, a trustee or a beneficiary of the estate.
There has already had extensive Probate Litigation in the case and now it will be interesting to see if the personal represenatives of the estate bring a wrongful death case to pursue Conrad Murray for civil damages. This was done in the OJ Simpson case where a judgment was received by the estate of Ron Goldman for $33.5M although an extremely small portion of this has ever been paid. Likewise the estate will need to determine whether Dr Murray has enough assets that a judgment would be collectible as he had lots of debts prior to being hired by Michael Jackson. It will be interesting to see what happens.
The estate was worth tens of millions as late as 2008 but just $3 million when she died. She was reportedly generous with friends and family but it is believed that while the drug use did not kill her that a large amount of money was used funding the bad habbit.
Bank of NY Mellon, Verizon, Ebay, GE, Boeing among the companies. Also the study showed that the average CEO now makes 325 times more than the average worker at their company as of last year while in 2009 that disparity was at 263-1.
In a 5-4 decision the Court ruled that the Texas Probate Court and not a bankruptcy Court had the jurisdiction to make the decision. This is a blow to the heirs of Anna Nicole Smith and should result in her not receiving any further inheritance unless they find a different ground to apply on.
Apparently she did not want to spend 15+ years trying to fight the pre nup and pursuing estate litigation like Anna Nicole and her estate have. Shocking it would not have worked out with just a 60 year age difference.
An Amusing Ipad type App for when people this far apart in age are in a relationship.
At the end of last year a tax agreement was reached that allowed for an estate tax exemption to rise to $5 million from $3.5m it had been in 2009. It also raised the gift tax exemption to $5m and lowered the tax rate to just 35% as well as allowed portability of the estate tax exemption for those who died in 2011 or 2012 and were married but did not use up their exemption or provide for tax planning. If no further action were taken in 2013 the tax rate would revert back to just $1m and and 55% rate.
See my My Fox Boston
Leroy Fick a 59 year old in Michigan won the $2m lottery when he was on Food Stamps. Since Michigan like the federal standard only measures income and not assets he is eligible for government money paid for by other tax dollars for assistance in buying some food. Michigan governmental officials are working to correct this problem as food stamps should only be used for the truly needy.
Yahoo News reported this story.
E Lobbyist reports regarding Florida Trusts and Estates legislation that has sailed through the legislature and is expected to be signed into law by the Governor.
The site summarizes the legislative changes saying that it provides fiduciary lawyer-client privilege; revises provisions relating to intestate share of surviving spouse; provides right to reform terms of will to correct mistakes or achieve tax objectives; provides for award of fees & costs in reformation & modification proceedings either against party's share in estate or in form of personal judgment against party individually; clarifies that revocation of will is subject to challenge on grounds of fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence, etc.
MyFloridaHouse.gov shows their more complete summary of the proposed legislation which appears will shortly become Florida Trusts and Estates law. It has a significant change to Florida Intestate Succession law in that for decedents dying on or after October 1, 2011 that do not have a will the law will be changed. The current law is that when a decedent leaves children all of whom are also the children of the surviving spouse then the spouse receives the first $60,000 and then one half of the remainder. The new law will be for intestate estates when that situation comes up the spouse will receive everything. When one or more children are not also children of the surviving spouse then the law will remain the same for Florida Intestate estates that the spouse will receive one half and the children will receive one half.
When he prepared his will having been married 3 times and having a child from a prior marriage and 3 from his current wife he wanted to make sure that there was no Probate Litigation, disputes or other contesting of his wishes and that the property just passed to his wife for her life then to the children. As a result he provided in his will that if anyone named in the will sought to contest its terms unsuccessfully that they would only receive $5. His phrasing was "I give to such persons so contesting or objecting the sum of FIVE DOLLARS ($5.00) and no more."
Interesting to note that while no contest clauses had been valid and all types of no contest clauses had been enforeceable in California for a while the law permitting this was changed effective January 1 2010 with when new Probate statute §§ 21310–21315 was passed and signed into law repealing the prior statute. There are now restrictions regarding what types and situations a no contest clause is enforceable. Also his wife failed to survive him so it now passes all to his children in equal shares.
A provision in a will purporting to penalize any interested person for contesting the will or instituting other proceedings relating to the estate is unenforceable.
Source regarding provision in Jackie Cooper's will and photo TMZ Jackie Cooper the poison pill clause.
The Administration on Aging reports that JFK while President declared the month of May Senior Citizens month. At the time there were just 17 million living seniors that had made it to 65 and a third lived in poverty. In 1980 Jimmy Carter changed the name to Older Americans month but it has continued to be celebrated with events and themes each year since it began nearly 50 years ago.
Dave Duerson, a former NFL player who committed suicide in February, had "moderately advanced" brain damage related to blows to the head, according to the researcher who made the diagnosis.
"It's indisputable" that Duerson had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disorder linked to repeated brain trauma, Dr. Ann McKee said Monday.
Just before ending his life he left a note telling his family that he wanted his brain tested. He specified it was to be by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University's School of Medicine.
Duerson played safety in the NFL for 11 seasons, seven with the Chicago Bears including the Super Bowl year of 1985-1986 and was chosen for four Pro Bowls before retiring in 1993.
Duerson's case was "moderately advanced," McKee said. "The likelihood is that if he hadn't had the CTE, he wouldn't have developed those symptoms that he was experiencing at the end of his life and perhaps he wouldn't have been compelled to end his life."
Duerson had at least 10 concussions in his NFL career, according to his family, and lost consciousness during some. However, he never was admitted to a hospital for them, Stern said. But he said it's also important to address hits to the head that don't cause concussions.
CSTE, created in 2008, is a collaboration between the BU School of Medicine and the Sports Legacy Institute, headed by Chris Nowinski. The center has been aggressively researching head trauma in sports, and has received a $1 million gift from the NFL, which it has pushed for better treatment of concussions.
Nowinski said "the latest version of the NFL's guidelines [on concussions]are well thought out. And, I think, with the state of the science today, it's about the best we can do."
But he said the problem starts much earlier, in youth football.
"The 6-year-olds are playing the same games as the pros when we know that their brains are far more susceptible to this damage," he said. "My next focus is how do we change youth football so that a kid doesn't show up in the NFL with 10,000 hits to their head already?"
"It's amazing to me that we have pitch counts in youth baseball to protect children's elbow ligaments," he said, "but we do not count how often we hit them in the head to protect their brains."
The highest paid CEOs of 2010 were the CEO of Viacom being the highest paid with a total compensation of $84.5m $13.9 cash $28.6 option stock grants and $41.8 million in restricted stock.
The Occidental CEO was # 2 at $34.2 million in cash and $40.25 in restricted stock options.
Third highest was Larry Ellison of Oracle who made $70.14 million total but just $6.7 million in cash.
Ralph Lauren was 12th on the list and Warren Buffet did not make the list.
To see the top 15 highest paid CEOs see CNBC
Larry Fortensky was someone she had met at a Betty Ford rehab facility back in 1988. He is a construction worker, who never finished high school and very middle class as well as 20 years younger than her so it was an unusual relationship.
He was unable to keep up with the press and living the public life that she required although they remained close and talked a few times a month until her passing.
It was just disclosed that the children are receiving a majority of the estate with $800,000 going to him and future profits from the perfume royalties going to various charities.
They had been married at Michael Jackson's neverland ranch and he received $1 million when they divorced.
See Popeater April 25 2011.
Prince William and Kate Middleton will be moving to a home worth $76 million after they are married. That is 343 times the typical newlywed home in england 223,282. Their royal retreat they will be able to go to for vacations is worth $279m and will have nearly half a million square feet and around a thousand rooms.
When he becomes king they will then move to Buckingham Palace which is the most valuable private residence in the world at $1.6 Billion.
In some states if real estate is owned by two people it may pass to the survivor even if they are not husband and wife. However in Florida it depends on whether or not they are husband and wife. If a property is owned by two people who are husband and wife it will pass to the survivor unless it says in the deed it was as tenants in common if they are not husband and wife and own the property individually it would need to say with right of survivorship in order to pass to the survivor and avoid probate.
Also if the property were in trust that may minimize the probate although it would not neccesarily avoid it. In order to shorten the creditor period to the longer of 30 days after date of service or 3 months after publication a probate would need to be opened. Although if there were no property actually in the estate or it were less than $75,000 a Summary Probate summary probate could be used.
CNBC.com has a slideshow which mentions ten musicians who in most cases were at one time huge stars but at the time of their death had faded and were again very popular.
Among the musicians include Michael Jackson whose record sales and general interest was huge following his death when his prior album had not been successful and he both led the dead celebrity list as well as made more money than he ever had while alive.
John Lennon obviously he was one of the biggest stars ever with the Beatles but following the breakup of the group was not as popular as he had been until he was shot and his star again rose as everyone bought his records and remembered him. He continues to be one of the biggest stars ever. Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Ray Charles were also on the list as having faded then huge again after their passing and Kurt Cobain and Nirvana were still popular when he killed himself but became even more successful afterwards.
CNBC.com reports regarding the highest and lowest income tax jurisdictions in the World.
The highest taxes of any country as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is Denmark at 48.2% who interestingly also has just 3.3% unemployment. Sweeden, Italy, Belgium and Finland round out the top 5 highest taxes.
The lowest taxes of any country include Mexico at just 17% of GDP, Chile is 2nd then the United States is the 3 lowest taxes of any country with just 24% of of GDP and Turkey then Korea round out the top 5 lowest.
See Worlds Highest Tax Rates for the full top 10 in each category and their pictures of each country.
Among the key points:
Most of those folks with a net worth of $1 million or more have earned it themselves by their actions.
The Wealthy are typically business owners of various types who typically put most of the money they make into making more money. Through investment and not consumption they can grow the wealth.
Wealth is the result of hard work, planning and discipline.
Wealthy diversify their investments, which gives them more flexibility to ride out difficult times. "Their portfolios that go way beyond just stocks and bonds into hedge funds, currencies, commodities and emerging markets," said Leslie Lassiter, managing director of the JPMorgan Private Wealth Management.
Millionaires use cash for their purchases more frequently as opposed to running up large interest on credit card type purchases or financing their lifestyle which some with more modest means do.
Most wealthy people use debt for investment purposes and are careful not to over-leverage themselves.
The wealthy typically spend lots of time planning and enjoying making and following a strategy to patiently achieve their goals over the long term.
"The best ones really understand how much liquidity they need to cover their expenses and make sure they have that much cash on hand," Lassiter said. "That's something the average person should do as well."
Suggestions for building wealth:
Live below your means
Plan: for today, tomorrow and years after retirement.
Reduce use of credit and turn to cash - The point of this comment was not to run up large interest rates and debts although actually the best practice can be to use credit that offers cash back or rewards then pay it off on time as it further enhances the credit rating and gets money back or savings on other items.
Have access to cash: While the rich keep much of their wealth invested, they can get cash when they need it. Lassister suggests a year's worth of cash to cover expenses; Danziger thinks three years worth is a better bet.
Spread cash around: When the wealthy took money out of the stock markets a few years ago, they opened a number of bank accounts, all guaranteed up to $250,000 of deposits by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Important to teach children and seek out good estate planning attorneys: The affluent can go to great lengths to teach their children about money and how to manage it -- something every family should do. They should also be aware of the family finances and the family should be aware of the plan so there is less a chance of probate or trust litigation being needed.
Bloomberg.com reports that the IRS has extended the deadline for heirs to file. The tax agreement that the Congress passed and Obama signed brought the estate tax back for 2011 and provided that some estates could elect to pay capital gains and not have a full step up in basis for income tax purpose but would have no estate tax while others would be able to keep the step up in basis but would be subject to estate tax rates. For the election and next two years subject to the agreement the exemption amount is $5 million dollars per taxpayer with a maximum rate of 35%. Given the frequently changing estate tax rules this helps personal representatives, heirs and their CPAs to have more time to evaluate their estate tax planning decisions.
On Sunday night flipping channels to see a few minutes of tv I happened to see part of the show Desperate Housewives. The interesting thing to me and this blog is that one character who was the mom of a woman who had just killed themself told her husband that he had effectively bought her a home since he had bought several pieces of real estate and one he had put into her daughters sole name. He said that she did not have a will and he was her spouse so he would receive her property anyway which would be correct. She then said that she had found an old will from prior to they were married and that all the property in the will went to her as a result.
That would not be accurate in Florida or most if not all jurisdictions in the US since even if the will had the required 2 witnesses and even if it were self proved with a notary as it should be the will would not validly pass the property given the concept of a pre termitted spouse. That means that they were married after a will was executed and it was not in contemplation of marriage or having mentioned him. Since they got married after the will was executed the spouse gets their intestate share and since they had no children together that would be everything. While they live on a fictional lane in Florida the law for pre termitted spouses can be found by clicking here. It may not have advanced the plot they wanted to show although having the discussion and making the point that the will was prior to the marriage and there was no pre nuptial agreement just showed they were operating in a fictional tv environment as far as wills and inheritance law are concerned. People should be aware though that if there is no pre nuptial agreement and there are no children but there is a will prior to their marriage unless the slayer statute applies or the marriage is properly challenged the spouse will receive all the property passing through the probate estate of the decedent.
The Personal Representatives of Michael Jackson's estate reached a settlement today with the Heal the World Foundation over use of the late entertainer's image and likeness, a court official confirmed.
Attorneys representing the estate and the charity met with a U.S. District Judge just prior to jury selection in the copyright infringement lawsuit was going to start in Los Angeles federal court.
Terms of the settlement were not publicly released. But TMZ.com reported that the founder of the foundation Melissa Johnson was given the right to use the late singer's name and image in association with the charity, while Katherine Jackson, Michael's mom, has become a member of the board of directors to supervise the nonprofit's work.
The litigation complaint filed in court stated that Johnson registered the names or phrases "Michael Jackson,' "King of Pop,' "Thriller,' "Neverland' and other words or phrases with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Those applications, according to the lawsuit, "uniquely and unmistakably point to Mr. Jackson and his persona' and are intended "to cause confusion, mistake and to deceive' the public into believing Johnson's charity has some connection to the pop star.
Attorney John Branca, a personal representative of Jackson's estate, previously said the estate sued in an effort "to be vigilant in protecting Michael's legacy from unauthorized exploitation and in protecting Michael's fans from being deceived.'
While Jackson did launch his own Heal the World Foundation in 1992, it had no connection to Johnson's organization and became dormant before the singer died of an overdose of prescription drugs in June 2009 at age 50, according to the complaint.
Johnson's foundation is described on its website as "a universal charity organization designed to improve the condition of all mankind.'
Attorney Branca is one of the top entertainment attorneys in the country and helped Michael Jackson purchase the Beatles catalog of publishing rights it owns with Sony which is likely the most valuable asset of the estate.
althy Baby Boomers keeping Inheritance for themselves.
A US Trust survey of 457 high-net-wealth individuals with at least $3 million in assets they could invest released Tuesday found 51 percent said it is not important to leave their kids an inheritance.
"These are mainly self-made people," 50 percent of whom said they paid a price in personal relationships and possibly their own health when they made their wealth, US Trust President Keith Banks told CNBC. So they think "I’m going to get a return on that investment for myself, number one, and maybe my children down the road."
Among the study's other findings: 75 percent said their wealth is the result of their own focus and hard work, 52 percent have not fully disclosed their wealth to their children and 55 percent intend to actively volunteer after retirement.
"This is the 'forever young' generation. So they don’t think like our parents did" that when you hit 65 you relax in Florida, he said. "These are people that are serial entrepreneurs, they’re looking forward to starting new businesses, they want to volunteer, they want leisure time, they want to travel. It’s almost a new beginning for a lot of them. It’s also a way, in their minds, to stay young and feel young."
While nearly all had at least a minimal plan in place most were far from comprehsive planning that they should have been doing to help protect for the long term care of their finances and values.
Only 3% of the business owners in the survey had a succession plan in place.
Also interesting that of the ultra wealthy Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are recruiting to give at least half of their wealth to charity. The article does not really address the issue but it can be more helpful to provide less for the children of the very wealthy. If they have too much they will not feel the need to be productive and work for themselves. Ivanka Trump for example went to a top school and has worked in professional capacity and not merely earned money from being famous or partying. This point is made in the movie Arthur. Although he is wealthy it delays his growing up and he relies to heavily on the family and others to care for him. Funny for a movie but for real life it is sad when a child's ambition is taken away by never needing to work.
U.S. Trust found that many children of these first-generation wealthy families are not receiving the guidance and support they need to handle either the emotional aspects or financial responsibilities associated with family wealth. Among wealthy parents surveyed:
Other reasons cited were fear that their children would become lazy (24 percent); would make poor decisions (20 percent); would squander money (20 percent); or would be taken advantage of by other people (13 percent).
Though 84 percent of parents think their children would benefit from discussions with a financial professional, nearly six in 10 (59 percent) have never introduced their children to the professionals managing their financial affairs.
See Margo Beller - CNBC April 19 Boomer Wealthy saving for themselves
As AOL reports this home in Malibu where they do not even own the land which is another $2,000 a month but just the property and which is just 2 bedroom 2 bathroom with 2300 square feet is selling for $2.5 million more than a typical mobile home. The area is home to artists and those without a view typically go for around $300,000-$600,000.
The reason as it typically is in real estate is location. It has great views of the Santa Monica Bay and is near other traditional homes with great views but those go as high as $45-55m.
The Probate Attorney Blog appreciates Lexis having selected it as a top 25 best probate and estate blog. There is currently voting to determine the best estate attorney blog. While there are many other quality blogs who were also selected Probate Attorney Blog suggests the Wills Trusts and Estates Prof blog written by Attorney and Professor Gerry Beyer as the best Wills Trusts and Estates Blog.
Pakistan Hires Transgender Workers to Shame Tax DelinquentsADAM B. ELLICK of the New York Times Blog reports financial trouble Pakistan is in since taxpayers do not file their taxes.
He states as my colleague Sabrina Tavernise reports, nationwide, fewer than a million out of 170 million Pakistanis voluntarily filed income tax returns last year. The rate is among the lowest in the world.
In a bid for a solution — and some publicity — the Clifton board borrowed a creative idea that alleviated tax woes in neighboring India were only half of the taxpayers in the wealthy area paid their taxes It hired a team of transgendered tax collectors to go door to door to embarrass the rich until they pay.
Transgendered people, known as TGs in Pakistan, carry a social stigma in the country, and their presence rattles the rich. For many of the TGs hired by the Clifton board, tax collecting is their first salaried job, and two of them still work as sex workers.
“Neighbors will come out and say, ‘Oh, what’s happening?’ and the bad name the person will get, this will maybe convince them to pay taxes,” said Aziz Suharwardy, the board’s vice president. “And that’s exactly what happens.”
The TGs have collected $100,000 in about nine months, 10 times the cost of the program. Still, the TG’s collection barely puts a dent in the board’s $5 million tax revenue shortfall.
It is a strange way to go about collecting taxes but not that there is anything wrong with that. Apparently it is effective as it costs ten times the cost of the collection program.
Source New York Times Blog
On April 13 Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan proposed a budget proposing $6 trillion in budget cuts and making significant policy changes to Medicare and Medicaid.
President Obama than responded with a budget of his own which had the following key provisions:
1. Deficit Reduction – $4 trillion over a period of 12 years in order to strengthen the economy and encourage employment.
2. Debt Trigger – If the national debt is not on a declining path, there would be automatic across-the-board spending reductions starting in 2014.
3. Spending Cuts and Tax Increases – There would be a balance between the reductions in spending and increases in taxes.
4. Shared Sacrifice – There would be budget cuts, but also increased taxes for upper-income Americans.
5. Bipartisan Commission – Vice President Biden would chair a commission with two appointed members from each committee. The commission would negotiate deficit reduction measures.
6. Medicare – The expenditure would eventually be limited to the growth in the economy per person plus 0.5% per year. There would be no block grants to states.
7. Income Tax Rates – The top tax brackets would increase to 36% and 39.6% for upper income taxpayers. Tax savings on itemized deductions for charitable gifts and mortgage interest would be limited to the savings of a taxpayer in the 28% bracket.
Source: Gift Legacy eNewsletter
Click here to see how the calculator works for your tax situation.
Most of the money around $326 million went to greater than 47,000 taxpayers who didn't qualify as first-time homebuyers because there was evidence they had already owned homes, said the report by J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. Other credits went to prison inmates, taxpayers who bought homes before the credit was enacted and people who did not actually buy homes.
The popular credit provided up to $8,000 to first-time homebuyers and up to $6,500 to qualified current owners who bought another home during parts of 2009 and 2010.
IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge said the agency worked hard to enforce a complicated tax credit that provided nearly $29 billion to more than 4 million taxpayers. The agency audited nearly 448,000 returns and blocked or denied nearly 426,000 questionable claims, she said.
In all, the agency's enforcement efforts saved more than $1.3 billion and identified more than 200 criminal schemes, she said.
"The timing and differences in the various legislative provisions also created complexity and confusion for taxpayers and return preparers, as well as the real estate industry," the IRS said in a written response to the audit.
Among the government audit findings of the credit:
• More than 47,500 taxpayers claimed the first-time homebuyer credit even though there was evidence on previous tax returns that they had already owned a home, including deductions for mortgage interest, real estate taxes and mortgage insurance. The report estimated these people claimed $326 million in credits.
• More than 13,400 taxpayers claimed the credit even though they had not yet purchased a home. These people listed future purchase dates on their tax forms. The report estimated these people claimed $97.8 million in credits. The IRS said it believes these estimates are overstated.
• More than 1,000 taxpayers said they purchased homes while they were incarcerated in prison, claiming $7.7 million.
• More than 2,500 taxpayers claimed credits for buying homes for which at least one other taxpayer also claimed the credit for buying. These taxpayers received $11.4 million.
• More than 2,700 taxpayers claimed credits for homes that were purchased before the tax credit went in effect. These taxpayers received $17.6 million.
• The IRS disallowed $531,134 in tax credits claimed by 96 taxpayers who were under age 18, making it unlikely they purchased a home.
See Yahoo News Stephen Ohlemacher Associated Press
The Postgame.com discusses how there are now NFL players who are already desparate for money with the lockout and strike just having started. Some financial advisors are working with other financial companies to get them financing at Tony Soprano type rates of around 18-24% rising to around 36% or worse upon default. They are then paying large fees to the advisors who have them sign.
The NFL now has $60,000 available to each player who was active on an NFL roster throughout the past two years to help provide for their players to avoid emergency situations. Some players who failed to discuss their financial needs with their CPAs, attorneys and financial advisors are in a bad situation as a result and now despite regularly being millionaires with no job at the moment some feel they cannot go to regular banks or other normal sources of more reasonable lending and others are taking advantage of the labor problems and lack of planning to them.
As part of proper estate and financial planning it is important to always evaluate likely situations and plan to be prepared in the event they had occur. With this being as foreseeable as it was they should not need emergency lending this soon but brings to mind the phrase that people do not plan to fail but fail to plan.
As AOL real estate blog discusses Dimitrios Aletras Jr VP of Business Development at Nest Seekers came up with the idea to advertise homes like other magazine advertise clothing with models. In order to sell some of his high end New York properties.
He had professional photographers shoot models in designer clothing and staged poses seeking to enhance the look of the homes and give them a warmer feel.
Nicolas Cage was also in the news recently as he had a 1938 mint condition copy of the original Superman Comic that was stolen in 2000. It just turned up in a storage locker in CA. Cage had previously taken an insurance payout for the loss of the comic. Hopefully if he made any capital gain from the amount he paid for it to the amount he received as insurance compensation that was declared to the IRS or he will have a further debt along with more interest and penalties for failure to file and properly pay his taxes.
In 2011 The Gift Tax annual exclusion remains at $13,000 per person per year for outright gifts but the exemption amount was made to be uniform with the estate tax exemption amount so there is now a $5,000,000 exemption for those who have not given prior gifts. However in prior law over the past decade the gift tax exemption was just $1,000,000. Nicholas Cage had already given over $1.8m in gifts though since 2004-2009 and the total he now owed as a result was just under $625,000. As a result they were placing a lien against him.
It is a sad situation continuing his debt of around $14 million that he had previously owed the IRS for income tax issues.
He had sued his manager who he claimed caused his financial ruin regarding those problems demanding $20m although the manager explained it was Cage's own fault and counter sued. It came out that Cage had bought $33m in real estate and 22 cars including 9 Rolls Royce. He had made $24 million in 2010 but needed to sell off many valuable assets he had in order to pay the IRS.
He has another tax situation now as he was late with paying for tax that went well beyond his exclusion amount and would have been due years ago but he forgot to pay the taxes as he was required to after having given the gifts.
This is another example of why this year is such a great year for the wealthy to pass along money to their friends and loved ones. Gift, Estate and Generation skipping taxes for this year and next year will be at a unified $5 million per taxpayer based on the agreement the President made with Congress and enacted into law.
The tax rate is currently at 35% for gift taxes above the exemption amount.
To see the TMZ.com breakdown of the amount of tax he owes for each year 2004-2009 click here
Walter Breauning died today as the worlds oldest man at 114. He lived in Montana.
His secrets to a long life
Always embrace change
Eat two meals a day
Work as long as you can
Help others "The more you do for others, the better shape you're in."
Source Aol News
Click the link for the CNN video of the White House Replica.
One fifth of the size of the real thing but structural details inside match the actual White House.
Couple built decades ago but are now empty nest parents and it is too large for them to live in alone so they are seeking to sell the home and move on despite having put a lot time and effort into having it been built just as they wanted.
A federal appeals court ruled Monday that the prior Harvard University classmates of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg can't undo their settlement over creation of the social networking site.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss were savvy enough to understand what they were agreeing to when they signed the agreement in 2008. The deal called for a $20 million cash payment and a partial ownership of Facebook.
Monday's ruling upholds a lower court decision enforcing the settlement during the six years of litigation that grew so contentious that the dispute was dramatized in the Oscar-nominated film, "The Social Network." The settlement is now worth more than $160 million because of Facebook's increased valuation.
The twins had alleged they were misled about Facebook's value when they agreed to settle their lawsuit that claimed Zuckerberg stole their idea to launch Facebook.
"At some point, litigation must come to an end," chief justice Alex Kozinksi wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel "That point has now been reached." "They brought half-a-dozen lawyers to the mediation," Kozinksi wrote.
Probate law is similar in its need to bring a final resolution to matters with a 2 year limit for creditor claims against an estate and the Florida Probate Code also states that order of discharge may not be revoked based on discovery of a will or a later will. The statute can be read by clicking here.
Source re Facebook case update Yahoo News
The IRS has placed a lien on their Los Angeles house, meaning if the Osbournes don't pay up soon, they're in serious danger of losing their home.
Source: Yahoo News
Interesting video by the Wall street journal discussing that Berkshire Hathaway the multi billion dollar conglomerate run by Warren Buffett the 2nd wealthiest person in the world who has vastly increased the size of a lot of people's trusts and estates but is now 80 years old may seek his friend and the 3rd wealthiest person in the world to run the company short term if he were to resign soon. This follows the resignation of David Sokol who was widely believed to be a successor upon Buffet's eventual resignation.
They have worked together on charitable causes and seeking to get other billionaires and multi millionaires to donate at least half of their estates to charity. Gates having run a major company prior to resigning from Microsoft is thought to be able to lead in the short term even though it would be a different industry but is believed to be more interested in spending most of his time on his charitable foundation so would just be a short term solution.
It is important that people save and invest whenever they are able to do so and that they work with financial professionals to achieve a plan for a comfortable retirement. To give a quick general snapshot though regarding ones retirement MSN.com has a retirement calculator which may be of interest.
To use the retirement calculator click here.
Two men who met only briefly a year earlier when one bought a computer from the other formed a much more lasting connection as a result of a wife's Facebook posting seeking a kidney donation for her husband.
Roxy Kurze was desperate to find a kidney donor for her husband Jeff, 35, and posted a notice on Facebook seeking someone willing to do so who had blood type O.
The Michigan couple realized they had a three- to five-year wait by using the normal route of being on the hospital's waiting list. Roxy Kurze knew time was of the essence. Her husband had already suffered a stroke, and dialysis was leaving him physically depleted.
"Wishing a kidney would fall out of the sky so my husband can stop suffering," Roxy Kurze wrote on Facebook. "So if anyone knows of a live donor with type O blood, PLEASE let me know."
Ricky Cisco, 25, didn't know Jeff Kurze by name. But he knew Roxy only slightly, through a work-related Facebook "friending" that might as well have been as distant as Mars. At his computer, on Facebook one day, he saw her posting for a Type O donor and was intrigued. He was Type O.
Click the Today.com link for a video discussing the story.
In early March of this year 90 year old former actor Mikey Rooney testified before a special senate committee about elder abuse from a family member believed to be 52 year old step son Chris Abert that he says he had experienced. He felt trapped, scared, used, and frustrated.
The senate committee is considering legislation to curb abuses of senior citizens.
"Above all," Rooney said of being a victim of elder abuse, "when a man feels helpless, it's terrible."
Every year, an about 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, sexual, financial, or other forms of abuse and neglect, according to the American Psychological Association. And for every case reported to authorities, experts estimate there may be as many as five cases that were not reported.
Elder abuse cuts across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. And it can occur anywhere - in nursing homes and other institutions as well as private homes. Older people who are demented are especially vulnerable, as are those who have a substance abuse problem - or are cared for by someone who does.
Rooney accused Aber in LA Superior Court filings of withholding food and medicine and meddling in his personal finances. On February 15 he was awarded a restraining order by the judge in which Aber could not come within 100 yards of Rooney. He was concerned that Aber may even try to kidnap him unless he signed over all his property so he also had the court appoint a conservator also referred to as a guardian in some states. His attorney was appointed for this purpose.
Fortunately on April 6 they were able to settle the matter and Rooney agreed to drop the restarining order with Aber agreeing to voluntarily leave him alone.
If the US government were to shut down later this week this would cause a slower processing of tax returns and limit small business loans and government-backed mortgages during peak home buying season.
The last such shutdown began in 1995 and went on for 3 weeks.
Taxpayers would remain responsible for filing and paying their taxes on time which is April 18 this year given a local holiday in Washington. Tax audits will be not occur during a potential shutdown.
The IRS also will not process any paper returns during a shutdown. About thirty percent of tax filers still use paper returns. Tax filers who expect a refund should file their returns electronically and ask that the money be deposited directly into their bank accounts. While taxpayers will still be required to properly ask the help lines for the IRS will not be staffed.
Social Security payments will continue to be delivered, and applications for benefits will continue to be processed. But some services will be limited, Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said.
If the shutdown goes on for an extended time though there would be problems with any changes in address, status or changes.
Medicare would still pay medical claims for its 48 million recipients, who are mainly seniors but also several million younger people who are permanently disabled or have kidney failure. Payments to
The Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees about 30 percent of home mortgages, would stop guaranteeing loans. The issuance of government backed loans to small businesses would be suspended, according to the White House.
The Obama administration said the impact on the housing market would be more significant than during the last shutdown since the Federal Housing Administration accounts for 30 percent of the mortgage market, almost triple the amount 16 years ago during the prior shutdown.
Source Huffington Post
The Senate overwhelmingly and in a rare bipartisan manner voted Tuesday to repeal a part of the health care reform law that would require businesses to file a 1099 tax form with the government for every purchase they make over $600.
The requirement was designed to fight tax fraud and raise money for the health care reform plan Democrats passed last year. But it quickly became extremely unpopular. Businesses properly complained it would be a major nuisance that would substantially increase administrative time with paperwork and be a burden especially on small businesses.
The Senate voted 87-12 for the repeal. Beyond enough to over ride a presidential veto if one were to occur and the House already approved the bill, so it will go directly to the president, who has not said definitively if he will sign the legislation.
The President and his administration as well as some Congressional Democrats, support the repeal, but disagreed with how the proposed legislation made up for the around $22 billion the Congressional Budget Offices claimed would be lost over the next 10 years to pay for health care reform.
Multiple sources from both parties said they anticipate the president to sign the repeal.
An assistant to Sen. Mike Johanns, Republican from Nebraksa, said the senator's effort to repeal the IRS reporting requirement always was aimed at easing the workload on businesses, not at taking a partisan whack at the controversial health care law.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, responding to passage of the legislation, said "We are pleased Congress has acted to correct a flaw that placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses," Carney said in a written statement. "And the administration remains eager to work with anyone with ideas about how we can make health care better or more affordable for all Americans."
Source: CNN - Ted Barrett
The Estate of funk and R&B singer Rick James who died in 2004 and was popular in the 70s and 80s best known for the song Super Freak is suing Universal Music Group (UMG) for half of all the digital royalties.
The Republican budget proposal will eliminate the national debt while still preserving costly entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan told CNBC.
Representative Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee speaking shortly before the spending plan gets its formal introduction in Congress, later today said the debt will peak at 74.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2014 and then drop from there.
Among the key tenets in a budget resolution to be presented are fundamental changes to the way Medicare and Medicaid are financed. The resolution does not address Social Security, though Ryan said he expects a bipartisan agreement on that issue later this year.
The budget plan includes proposed legislation that Ryan has said will slash $4 trillion from federal spending over the next decade.
The resolution is necessary as a potential shutdown looms over Washington and Congress must approve raising the national debt limit.
Ryan acknowledged the political obstacles he will face both from Democrats and some members of this own party who may bristle at the aggressive spending cuts involved.
"The problem in Washington is, they take any honest and sincere attempt to fix this problem and use it as a political weapon against you in the next election," he said. "We can't let that deter us."
On Fox News Sunday Representative Ryan discussed a controversial overhaul of Medicare, the health care program for seniors, and that the propsed budget would force deep cuts in Medicaid, which provides health benefits to low-income Americans.
Beginning in 2021, elderly Americans would receive government assistance in paying health insurance premiums instead of enrolling in the government-run Medicare program, Ryan said. He rejected the label of "vouchers" for the payments, calling them "premium assistance" payments instead.
The plan is similar to the one he created last year with Alice Rivlin, budget director under President Bill Clinton. The Ryan-Rivlin plan said the amount of assistance would be calculated in part by taking the average federal cost per Medicare enrollee.
The proposal would also:
Reform Tax Code - Remove loopholes in Corporate Tax and reduce rates to 25%
End the authority for Wall Street Bailouts.
Reduce federal spending for the deficit to less than 20% of GDP.
Concussions in football games are taken more seriously than ever before.
Examples of danger posed by head first hitting and concussions have been mounting over the past few years with at least one player losing a significant amount of their memory even in his 40s, multiple suicides and cases of depression and brain injuries. The NFL has recently made rule changes seeking to protect players.
The Probate Attorney Blog had discussed this problem and more detail about Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy a generative disease caused by concussion and hits to the head which can cause dementia, depression and even suicide it a few times recently here and here
The problems with concussions Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy have reached such recognition and importance that now there are even no rules to protect NFL players in the next edition of the "Madden" football video game franchise when concussed players won't be allowed to return to the field in the game they are injured.
"Concussions are such a big thing, it has to be a big thing in the video game," Madden told The New York Times in a telephone interview. "It starts with young kids -- they start in video games. I think the osmosis is if you get a concussion, that's a serious thing and you shouldn't play. Or leading with the head that you want to eliminate. We want that message to be strong."
Moore says "we have an obligation in our industry" to recognize that brain injuries are one of the biggest on-field problems facing football at all levels right now.
The game's executive producer, Phil Frazier, told The Times that "Madden NFL 12", with its new concussion rules and the exclusion of helmet-to-helmet hits and headfirst tackling can be a "teaching tool" to players of the game, particularly kids.
Gus Johnson and Cris Collinsworth, the announcers featured in the game, also will explain the dangerous nature of concussions when they announce that a player can't return to the game.
Madden agrees with the game's new emphasis on proper tackling techniques and the seriousness of concussions, telling The Times "if we show players playing through [concussions], then kids won't understand."
"There was a time when someone would get a concussion and you'd say he just got dinged, take some smelling salts and get back in the game. Those days are over," he told the newspaper.