The SafeEstates Blog

June 1, 2019

Being Clear About Who’s The Boss

Singer-songwriter, musician and producer Tom Petty died in October 2017 thinking he had a good estate plan. He created a trust and named his widow, Dana York Petty, the trustee. The trust beneficiaries are Dana and Tom’s two daughters (Adria and Annakim) from a previous marriage. This seems like a clear and simple plan. However, the trust terms also say he wants Adria and Annakim to have “equal participation” in making decisions. Dana says she is the trustee and has final say on decisions; Adria and Annakim say majority rules. Dana wants the court to establish who is in charge; the daughters have sued for damages...

Continue Reading ›

April 5, 2019

The Town Where Everyone Talks About Death

What would you say if I told you there was a town where 96% of adults who pass away had planned it out? This place exists, and it's the beautiful town of La Crosse, WI. These folks have filled out an advance directive, outlining how they want to die. While it may sound morbid, it's exactly the opposite! In La Crosse, Wisconsin, you're the odd man out if you don't have a plan in place for your death. Nationally, only about 30 percent of adults have an advance directive or similar documents outlining a plan. In this community, talking about death...

Continue Reading ›

March 16, 2019

St Patrick’s Day – A Reminder for Fiduciaries

March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador. It is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. St. Patrick is remembered for turning Ireland from druid led polytheism to Christianity.  Wearing of the green is a tradition based on St. Patrick’s use of the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity of father, son and spirit. Patrick wrote the Declaration or Confession , a biographical account of his life and mission. Much of the Declaration concerns charges made against him at a trial. It appears he was accused of some sort of financial impropriety in receiving and distributing gifts but...

Continue Reading ›

January 11, 2019

Deliverance or Disinheritance?

To start the New Year on a positive note, here is a feel-good story with a happy ending. It involves a familiar celebrity, Burt Reynolds. You may remember Burt from his early TV days as a blacksmith on Gunsmoke in the early 1960s. Burt also starred in numerous movies, including Deliverance , Smoky and the Bandit , and The Longest Yard . He was married to actress Loni Anderson for several years but divorced in 1993. Burt and Loni adopted a son, Quentin Anderson Reynolds, in 1988. Quentin was Burt’s only child and “greatest accomplishment.” Burt died September 6, 2018 in Jupiter Beach, Florida. He was 82. The news media reported Burt disinherited Quentin, age 30. Burt’s...

Continue Reading ›

December 2, 2018

Let’s See That Marvel-ous Estate Plan

Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee died November 10, 2018 in Los Angeles at age 95. His financial legacy for co-creating Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Black Panther and other iconic characters is an estate valued at more than $50 million and an ongoing income stream from his past and pending creations. Hopefully you enjoyed his comic books and the movies they inspired. Marvel fans eagerly await the January 2019 return of comic series,Guardians of the Galaxy , which continues the plot from Infinity Wars’ Thanos Legacy . In the most recent episode, Eros cut a last will and testament out of Thanos’ dead...

Continue Reading ›

October 1, 2018

The Queen of Soul’s Legacy

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, sold over 75 million records. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She had four sons by four different men. Rolling Stone observed “While Franklin’s formidable legacy and impact is certain, however, the fate of her estate might end up a more contentious matter.” Aretha Franklin reportedly left no will or trust when she died in August with a reported net worth of $89 million. Her four sons filed probate documents shortly after listing themselves as interested parties in her estate. One document reportedly filed with the Oakland County Probate Court in...

Continue Reading ›

August 1, 2018

Back to School Tip: Planning for Young Adults

When you celebrate your child’s 18 th birthday, several milestones occur. First, your child registers to vote and experiences the privilege of participating in every local and national election. Second, your parental rights end. This second milestone brings several estate planning concerns. You may notice that your child’s college will send you a tuition invoice but will not send you a report card or other academic information. You may encounter similar barriers communicating with your child’s bank or credit card issuer. In our opinion, every college student should sign adurable power of attorney authorizing a parent or other responsible adult to make business and financial decisions for them...

Continue Reading ›

July 5, 2018

Love our service? Leave us a Google Review!

If you've had a great experience with Safe Estates, we'd be so honored if you would leave us a Google Review. It helps new customers find us and get help planning their wills, estates and trusts. We appreciate your feedback and strive to provide our customers with the best experience. Leaving a review is quick and easy to do. Click here - this will take you to the Google Maps link of Safe Estates. Scroll down on the left and you'll see the option that says "Write a Review" (see above, circled in purple) Select the "stars", write your review, and...

Continue Reading ›