the real/estate blog

Celebrity death match, round two

Posted in Celebrity Planning,Estate Planning by Cesia Green on June 25, 2013
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I have posted ofRed carpetten before on the fact that celebrities tend to make the same mistakes as the rest of us, just compounded by more money and more dependants (you can read posts here, here and here, for example). Sheyna Steiner has posted a new list of celebrity follies over at

From Leona Helmsley leaving money to her dog with no consideration given to her grandchildren, to quarterback Steve McNair who faced huge a tax burden from a lack of planning, to Jim Morrison whose estate ended up in the hands of his girlfriend’s parents rather than his own, it is clear that having great wealth does not lead to any greater likelihood of having estate planning documents in place.

Be better than the celebrities you follow. Do some planning.


The price of fame

Posted in Celebrity Planning,Estate Planning by Cesia Green on October 9, 2012

Here’s a new concept for a television show: what happens to someone’s estate after they die. Believe it or not, this is actually airing on Investigation Discovery. Season three is about to start, and the first episode will feature the estate of Tammy Wynette, the country star whose will was contested by her daughters after they were cut out of her estate.

For more information on the show, check out this.

Everything old should maybe not be new again

Posted in Celebrity Planning,Estate Planning,Living Wills,Substitute Decisions by Cesia Green on June 7, 2011

I read this article from the Daily Mail a little while ago, about Jeff Conaway, who played Kenickie in Grease. Jeff was found in his home in early May in a coma brought on by a suspected drug overdose. Doctors had informed his family that he had suffered brain death and would not recover, and they had planned to end life support until Jeff’s ex-girlfriend, Vikki Lizzi, came forward to announce that she held a power of attorney over Jeff and ordered the life support to be maintained. Doctors are currently on hold until it is established whether the power of attorney is still valid.

I regularly advise people to have powers of attorney prepared so that their health care can be arranged if they are unable to do so for themselves. This case makes it very clear just how important it is to keep these documents current, and to make new ones as your life situation changes. Maybe Jeff Conaway wanted his ex-girlfriend to make these decisions, as an outsider who could be more objective; maybe he simply forgot to update the document. We will likely never know. For the rest of us, we should always make sure that the person named in our power of attorney document is the person we want acting right now, and should always change it in the future when it is appropriate.