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End of Life Planning

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Effects of Living in a Community Property State

How does living in a community property state like Nevada affect you?

In most states in the U.S. married couples are considered separately when it comes to financial matters, except when they share joint accounts. In the community property states, however -- Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin -- different rules apply. 

In these states everything acquired during your marriage is considered legally owned by both partners, as if they are equal co-owners of a business.


Read more . . .


Friday, July 10, 2015

Firestorm Erupts Following Death of Jazz Legend B.B. King

Are will contests common? What kinds of allegations are usually made by beneficiaries when objecting to a will? 


Sadly, will contests are an all-too-common component of the will probate process, particularly in high-profile families or surrounding high-net-worth estates. In today’s post, we explore the burgeoning issues surrounding the death of jazz icon B.B. King, who passed away in Las Vegas on May 15, 2015, was ultimately laid to rest in Mississippi following a festive memorial parade down Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. Nonetheless, the party was abruptly drawn to a close as surviving family members quickly initiated objections to the structure of his Last Will and Testament – particularly highlighting Mr. King’s choice to name his long-time business manager as executor and manager of the entire estate. 

Basics of Objections by King Family 

Much of Mr. King’s estate is arranged in trust, and as such will not be revealed publicly. However, nearly all trusts are accompanied by a pour-over will, which governs the disposition of property inadvertently left out of the estate or acquired after death. This document, which becomes part of the public record through the probate process, names Mr. King’s business manager as the executor of his entire state – to the exclusion of his 11 surviving children and 35 grandchildren. 

At the heart of the objectors’ claims are the startling allegations of mistreatment and the allegedly intentional poisoning of Mr. King prior to his death. Further, high-profile attorneys for four of the King children have asserted that the business manager prevented family from visiting the ailing legend in his final days, as well as siphoned nearly $1 million from his bank accounts using a power of attorney. 

Following several hearings in Clark County court, Judge Gloria Sturman refused to allow the will contests to continue – stating that there was not enough evidence at the time to remove Mr. King’s chosen executor from the position. In a statement by the court, “[h]e worked his entire life to provide for his family….The thing he left for you is his amazing body of work. Somebody has got to make sure that his legacy is protected."

If you would like to create or update your estate plan, please do not hesitate to contact estate planning attorney Craig Stone at the Las Vegas Stone Law Offices today: 877-800-3424. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Estate Planning Should Have Included End-of-Life and Funeral Planning for Casey Kasem

Samuel Goldwyn is credited with the observation that, "A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on."  The aphorism is apt for estate planning and funeral arrangements as well.

According to many family members, late Top 40 Radio DJ Casey Kasem wished to be buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California, close to where he had lived.  Four months after his death, he still has not been laid to rest, after a failed attempt by his wife to have him buried in Norway.

The developments are perhaps the final bizarre chapter in Kasem's sad story.  His wife Jean had been openly feuding for years with Kasem's three adult children from a previous marriage.  During the final year of his life, she refused to allow family members visit Kasem when he was ill.  His children began conservatorship proceedings and won the right to see their father. 

At one point, Jean Kasem removed the feeding tube that kept her husband alive and, at 2:30AM, removed him from the nursing home that was caring for him.  A nationwide manhunt ensued, and Kasem was located in Seattle.  Amidst a great deal of family acrimony, there were further legal proceedings and medical evaluations.  On June 15, 2014, Kasem passed away, after a judge granted his children's request that he be removed from life support. 

At that point, his children's conservatorship ended and Jean Kasem took over.  She ignored her late husband's wishes to be buried in California and kept his body in Washington for a month while Kasem's children sought to have an autopsy performed.  They alleged that Jean refused to return the body to California lest she face criminal elder abuse charges.  By the time they obtained a court order, Jean had sent the body to Oslo, Norway to have Kasem buried there.

After receiving letters from Kasem's family and on-line petition with 24,000 signatures, Norwegian officials agreed not to permit Kasem to be buried there.  But his body remains stored in a hospital, with an uncertain future.  

Kasem's wife insists that he was doing well while in her care before his children sought a conservatorship.  It has been rumored that she may now challenge the trust Kasem set up for his children.

The troubling story is a stark demonstration of the importance of spelling out one's wishes in writing, both for end-of-life care and for funeral arrangements.  If you need assistance with your estate plan, living will, medical proxy, funeral planning, or other arrangements for yourself and your heirs, Nevada estate planning attorney Craig Stone can help.  Call the Stone Law Offices at (877) 905-0890 for a consultation today.

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S. Craig Stone II of Stone Law Offices, Ltd. serves clients throughout Clark County, Southern NV, Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, North Las Vegas, Summerlin, Carson City, Reno, Washoe County, and Nye County. Also serving clients with asset protection nationwide.



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