Building Legacies that Last Estate Planning and Elder Law

The Great Harry Houdini’s Estate Plan

 

Harry Houdini, an escape artist, was most known magician of the 20th century. He amazed his crowds with tricks such as The Overboard Box Escape and the East Indian Needle Trick. After Houdini died from complications due to a ruptured appendix on October 31, 1926, his estate plan was and still remains one of the best. In 1924, Harry had created a 23 clause long will that was detailed to the max and updated just one year after. In his great will, Houdini gave $500 dollars to his three assistants, $1000 to the Society of American Magicians, and the rest of his estate portions would be liquidated and distributed to each member of his family over periods of time. Two unique aspects of his estate included that: 1/6th of the estate should go to his wife, and whoever received a portion of his estate must have been confirmed according to the Jewish law and traditions. Along with the liquidation and separating his money, he also gave his theatrical effects and tricks to his younger brother, and up and coming magician, Theodore, relying on the fact that he should not share it to the world. For his most valuable books, Houdini gave them all away to the Library of Congress for safekeeping. Even though Harry’s estate plan stated that each member of his family should receive a portion, Sadie Weiss, Houdini’s sister-in-law, received none due to the fact that he disliked her for marrying his one brother, Nathan, and then his younger brother Leopold. For his wife Beth, she was told to perform a séance until she could finally contact him. Along with being the Best Magician around, Harry Houdini had tricks up his sleeve especially in his estate plan.

Harry Houdini, an escape artist, was most known magician of the 20th century. He amazed his crowds with tricks such as The Overboard Box Escape and the East Indian Needle Trick. After Houdini died from complications due to a ruptured appendix on October 31, 1926, his estate plan was and still remains one of the best. In 1924, Harry had created a 23 clause long will that was detailed to the max and updated just one year after. In his great will, Houdini gave $500 dollars to his three assistants, $1000 to the Society of American Magicians, and the rest of his estate portions would be liquidated and distributed to each member of his family over periods of time. Two unique aspects of his estate included that: 1/6th of the estate should go to his wife, and whoever received a portion of his estate must have been confirmed according to the Jewish law and traditions. Along with the liquidation and separating his money, he also gave his theatrical effects and tricks to his younger brother, and up and coming magician, Theodore, relying on the fact that he should not share it to the world. For his most valuable books, Houdini gave them all away to the Library of Congress for safekeeping. Even though Harry’s estate plan stated that each member of his family should receive a portion, Sadie Weiss, Houdini’s sister-in-law, received none due to the fact that he disliked her for marrying his one brother, Nathan, and then his younger brother Leopold. For his wife Beth, she was told to perform a séance until she could finally contact him. Along with being the Best Magician around, Harry Houdini had tricks up his sleeve especially in his estate plan.

Michelle Profit is an estate planning attorney serving Maryland and the District of Columbia. A Harvard Law School graduate, she has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years. A dedicated advocate for all of her clients,

Michelle Q. Profit personally handles each client case from start to finish to meet the client’s needs and objectives. Michelle listens in the consultation sessions and works with any other client accountants or financial planners to create a comprehensive estate plan.

Estate Sale Gone Awry

MP900202201Estate sales are increasingly popular ways to get rid of unwanted items of personal property from an estate. One Colorado woman recently learned just how eager people can be to get a good deal.

Mary Andrews, a resident of Longmont CO, recently had an extremely bad day. She had a garage sale but did not manage to sell everything she had on offer.  However, that is not unusual.

Before Andrews cleaned up all the leftover items from her lawn, she left her house without locking her door. When she came home later, she found a lot of people inside her home taking everything that was not nailed down.

Why? An estate sale was supposed to be held two doors down from Andrews. People mistakenly believed that hers was the house for the estate sale. Furthermore, these people mistakenly believed that everything left over, which included the items in her house, were all left over and free for anyone who wanted them.

The police filed a report on the incident.  However, they have closed the case due to the lack of suspects. Fox News reported on this incident in "Colorado house ransacked after estate sale mix-up."

The good news here is that people who are having estate sales can expect very enthusiastic buyers, even if they are not giving the items away for free. Estate sales have proven to be a great way for heirs to dispose of property they do not want. Buyers are so enthusiastic that many elderly people are having estate sales, while they are still alive as a way to downsize before moving to a smaller, more manageable home.

Reference: Fox News (March 28, 2018) "Colorado house ransacked after estate sale mix-up."

 

Tupac’s Pendant for Sale

Bigstock-Vintage-brass-telescope-on-ant-44347372[1]If you would like to purchase a pendant that Tupac Shakur was wearing when he was shot, you can. You might get sued though.

The deceased rapper Tupac Shakur remains one of the biggest stars of the music genre years after his death. Fans still cannot get enough of his music, but his personal items have not been nearly as accessible to interested collectors.

A single piece of memorabilia has now appeared.

According to TMZ in "Tupac Bullet-Dented Pendant. . . Up For Grabs For $125K," a bullet-dented pendant the rapper was wearing when he was shot in New York City two years before his death is up for sale at a fixed price of $125,000

The pendant was allegedly given to a memorabilia dealer for the sale by an unnamed family member. It is not certain why it is a sale for a fixed price when most high value celebrity memorabilia is put up for auction.

What does seem clear is that this sale is very much a buyer beware situation.

Tupac's estate has declared that no one, including family, has been authorized to sell any merchandise. The estate has threatened to sue anyone who sells or buys the pendant.

Until more details come out, it cannot be determined whether the estate has the right to block the sale of this pendant.

If the family member who gave it to the dealer was given the pendant as part of the estate, then it is not clear what grounds the estate has to sue on. However, if the pendant was improperly acquired, then the estate has a much better case.

Reference: TMZ (Oct. 16, 2016) "Tupac Bullet-Dented Pendant. . . Up For Grabs For $125K."