Why Jeffrey Epstein’s Trust Only Adds to the Murder Conspiracy

While America’s criminal justice system does not judge people to be guilty until proven guilty (even though it has no compunction with adjudicating innocent people as being guilty), Jeffrey Epstein sure does look like a bad, bad dude. The “Pimp of the Rich and Famous” would have been charged with human trafficking, statutory rape, prostitution, and likely many more demented crimes which thinking of would cause most decent people to throw up in their mouth a little bit. His trial and any plea bargain could have been an enormous bombshell that would have ruined at least a few people with HUGE shoes to fill. It was in this context that Jeffrey Epstein somehow hung himself from a five-foot high bunkbed

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Damian Hurley: Why Minimizing Estate Taxes is Not Always a Good Thing

For decades estate attorneys have been driven by a prime directive, a primary motivating cause that overcomes all other client desires: Minimizing estate taxes. I believe this is a huge mistake, and a recent court decision highlighted by a stern millionaire patriarch, celebrities, a free-living playboy, and an irrevocable trust shows us why. Today it takes a decent amount of money ($11.4 million or more) to face a federal estate tax when you die, and there are also certain irrevocable trusts, including GRATs and GRUTs, that further minimize or eliminate estate taxes. So, for many of us this article is not relevant, but for those who it is, it should come as no surprise that estate attorneys have traditionally focused

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How to Secretly (and Correctly) Purchase Real Estate with Trusts and LLCs

Privacy is an almost-forgotten concept in our world. Perhaps we are trying to avoid being found by a greedy family member or being served in a vexatious lawsuit by a degenerate loser. Maybe you are a celebrity or media personality and don’t want your fans – or detractors – waiting outside your building or driveway (I love all of my adoring fans, but I don’t want them knocking on my front door before I start binging Punky Brewster reruns on Netflix). Maybe you are a foreign diplomat trying to secretly create a safe haven for your money and yourself in our wonderful country in case you piss off the head of your political party. But real estate records are public

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Requiem for Stan Lee: Superhero of the Superheroes

As a former collector of Bronze-Age Marvel comic books, I was sad to hear of the passing of Stan Lee. As the creator or co-creator of so many comic book characters – the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Spider Man, Iron Man, the Avengers, the Uncanny X-Men, Doctor Strange, the list goes on – Lee is one of the most meaningful entertainment influencers of our era. True, Lee owed a great debt to his prolific co-creators (and arguably more talented artists), such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, but even though Lee’s style often promoted himself instead of Marvel and anyone else that made Marvel Comics the cultural juggernaut it has become, everyone from once-teenage comic collectors, to Disney executives

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A Funeral Fit for a Queen / King: Aretha Franklin v. John McCain

At the risk of sounding disrespectful (as opposed to actually being disrespectful, which I can also be at times), please allow me to be honest: We have all been to festive and frightening weddings, jovial and pathetic birthdays, and good and bad funerals. But instead of me brooding over how I never received a meal at my sister’s wedding eight years ago, let’s focus on what really matters: The people who spoke up, and what they said. John McCain’s funeral hosted a well-groomed, thoroughly vetted procession of speakers, guests and attendees. His eulogy by his daughter was heartfelt and appropriate for an American hero. He was even clear about who should and should not attend his funeral (while President Trump’s

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Don’t Be So Sure Aretha Franklin Didn’t Have an Estate Plan…

Sadly, last week the Queen of Soul passed away with almost no hints beforehand that her death was imminent. And then, in yet another sensational example of Rock Stars behaving badly, the media rushed to declare that Aretha Franklin died without a Will, how irresponsible this was, how much money she must have had, and how a bunch of attorneys will now make millions off her estate. To reiterate my past-stated believes: Today’s mainstream media (not to mention non-mainstream media) is at best a conveyor of a little fact with a lot of opinion, and at worse completely full of ****. But stories about irresponsible celebrities sell in newspapers, tabloids, TV, radio, even in professional journals. I don’t believe it,

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Jerry Seinfeld Should Have Left His Royalties to a Trust

I have worked with some former authors and musicians who receive some form of royalties and “trailing income” from their past artistic works. Whether that occasional student of mid-20th Century Literature purchases a book from 1964 for his thesis, or CBS FM decides to play a song from 1982 (yes, the “Oldies” radio stations are now playing the songs you made out to in the backseat of your mom’s Dodge Minivan), someone somewhere is receiving a royalty payment. Copyrights, patents and trademarks tend to have long royalty periods (patents tend to vary the most), which you may think is good. However, the problem is that certain forms of intellectual property, such as copyrights, can continue for long after your passing,

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Celebrity Estates: Prince’s Royal(ty) Issue

2016 is seeing it’s share of celebrities pass away: Glenn Frey, Abe Vigoda and Garry Shandling. But none so far, aside from perhap David Bowie, left as much of an impact on our world as Prince.  And none, I would dare to say, has such a complicated estate. Prince faces several tricky issue upon his passing: The nature of his property, and the absence of a nature heir. Considering the shear amount of wealth Prince’s estate will create, starting with the millions of dollars it made from ITunes downloads mere hours after he died, Prince needed to carefully about who would receive his music royalty rights. Copyrighting music ensures several financial rights, such as charging a station or organization for playing it to the public

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