Aretha Franklin's $80 Million Estate in Limbo

If recent history is an indication, Aretha Franklin’s estimated $80 million estate could be in for a contentious battle, according to Rolling Stone. The Queen of Soul left no will when she died, so according to Michigan law, her estate should be evenly divided among her four adult sons: Ted White Jr., Kecalf Franklin, Edward Franklin and Clarence Franklin. However, the possibility of unreleased music, royalty streams and the likelihood of numerous financial accounts increases the likelihood of this being contested in court. 

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Judge Expands Administrator's Powers for Glen Campbell Estate

In the battle over Glen Campbell's estate, Judge David "Randy" Kennedy has expanded the powers of the estate’s administrator while also ordering a detailed accounting of a joint bank account Campbell maintained with his wife, the Tennessean reports. This development comes after Stanley B. Schneider — who serves as the estate’s administrator and was formally Campbell's business manager — petitioned the court for the power to pay taxes and other estate obligations. Under the order, Schneider is required to determine what funds in the account are considered community property with Kimberly Campbell and what funds belong to the estate. 

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Tennessee Senior Law Alliance Expands Legal Help for Seniors

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, in cooperation with several legal aid providers, is taking a coordinated approach to assisting Tennessee seniors facing legal problems, according to a press release on its website. The Tennessee Senior Law Alliance will partner with the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Memphis Area Legal Services and West Tennessee Legal Services in effort to reach all 95 Tennessee counties, helping seniors identify and resolve core legal issues such as wrongfully reduced or denied access to benefits and health care; illegal barriers to obtaining and maintaining safe and secure housing; physical, emotional and financial abuse and exploitation; and a lack of help with basic estate planning such as creating wills, advance directives and powers of attorney. You can learn more about the program using this link.

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Anthony Bourdain Leaves Bulk of Estate to Daughter

Celebrity chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain, who died by suicide in June, left most of his estate to his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane Busia-Bourdain, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Bourdain named ex-wife Ottavia Busia executor of the $1.2 million estate, which is far below previous estimates of his net worth. Some reports claim that the Bourdain/Busia divorce was not finalized, which could open the estate up to a legal dispute.

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Michael S. Goode to Chair Estate Planning & Probate Section for the 2018–19 Bar Year

Michael S. Goode has dedicated his legal career to helping businesses and families with their tax, business and estate planning needs, working closely with advisors, banks and trust companies to provide innovative solutions to clients' wealth preservation needs. Goode co-founded the Chattanooga chapter of the Succession Planning Professionals and is a member of the Atlanta chapter. Goode has also written pension legislation under Georgia law for a large county school district and represented an estate client before the Supreme Court of Georgia in a case that caused a shift in Georgia law regarding the interpretation of Wills. Goode received his JD from The College of William and Mary, and his LL.M. in Taxation from New York University. Please join us in welcoming your Estate Planning & Probate Section Chair for the 2018–19 bar year.

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Maryville Attorney Suspended for Three Years

A former Blount County commissioner was suspended Tuesday from practicing law for three years, reports the Citizen Tribune. The Board of Professional Responsibility has suspended Ted Austin “Tab” Burkhalter Jr., regarding a probate case in which he represented the executor of an estate, in which notarized a document with a forged signature. Burkhalter operates Burkhalter & Associates, serving as its managing partner.

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Jury Leaves $4 to Family of Man Killed by Sheriff’s Deputy

A Florida jury last week awarded the estate of shooting death victim Gregory Vaughn Hill Jr. $4 in damages: $1 for funeral expenses and $1 for each of his three children’s loss, The New York Times reports. Hill was fatally shot by Christopher Newman, a sheriff’s deputy who had responded to a noise complaint about music Hill had been playing in his garage. The garage door was eventually closed and Newman fired four times through it, striking Hill once in the head and twice in the abdomen. Hill had a gun in his back pocket, which the deputies said he had been holding it during their confrontation, though that claim is in dispute. 
The wrongful-death lawsuit, filed in 2016, was asked to determine whether Hill’s constitutional rights had been violated and whether his estate should be awarded damages. Jurors determined that Newman had not used excessive force and concluded, but the St. Lucie County sheriff, Ken Mascara, had been ever so slightly negligent given Deputy Newman’s actions. A grand jury had previously determined not to bring criminal charges against Newman. The estate’s attorney, John M. Phillips, said that he is drafting a motion for a new trial and if the motion is denied, he will file an appeal.
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This Week: Elder Law Forum 2018

The 2018 TBA Elder Law Forum will return to the illustrious ‘batman’ building in downtown Nashville on Friday. This venerated forum offers top-notch programming, with essential information for both seasoned practitioners and attorneys interested in adding elder law to their practices. With topics such as succession planning, conservatorships, benefits and emerging trends in healthcare, this forum guarantees to be the must-see, must-do event for Tennessee attorneys who share this focus. Section members receive a discount to attend the program. Here are the key details:
• When: Friday, July 13, registration begins at 8 a.m., CDT
• Where: AT&T Building – Auditorium, 333 Commerce St., Nashville 
• CLE Credit: 4 General, 2 Dual
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How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 Affects Estate Planning

A recent article on Lexology highlights changes to estate and gift taxes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which doubles those ‘death tax’ exemptions. The exemptions will continue to be adjusted annually for inflation and are set to expire in 2025.
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Takacs, McGinnis Present Elder Care Program on WTVF

The Business of Dying

TBA Elder Law Section members Barbara McGinnis and Tim Takacs recently presented a piece titled “The Business of Dying” on WTVF – News Channel 5, Nashville. The discussion addresses death and the difficult and uncomfortable questions surrounding that topic, which make the already stressful situation even worse. You can view the presentation here.

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