Maya Angelou’s heirs are in a bitter fight over her legacy, according to this November 7, 2017, article from www.courthousenews.com. Maya Angelou’s grandson allegedly is trying to gain control of the late poet’s intellectual property from his father and has bankrupted a company set up to manage her legacy. Maya Angelou’s son has accused her grandson, his son, of trying to cut him out of the proceeds from Caged Bird Legacy, the company that manages the intellectual property of the author and poet, including her copyrights. Angelou, the beloved author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was awarded the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom. After her death in 2014, 25% of her company’s proceeds were gifted to her grandson – but now, his father claims, Angelou’s grandson is raiding the coffers to fund an “extravagant” lifestyle and has allegedly borrowed hundreds of thousands from the company. Angelou’s grandson has not responded publicly to the lawsuit.
Does your estate plan need to include your vacation property? Yes! If you own a vacation home, timeshare, investment property, or any other asset outside of the state where you are domiciled you must make sure it’s included in your estate plan. If you fail to include these in your estate plan, or fail to have an estate plan at all, your heirs will encounter issues, and usually the expense and hassle of court costs, when inheriting these assets.
Money may be the most talked about wealth contained within a person’s estate, but the riches of their experience and wisdom can mean even more to family members down the line. Reinforcement of family traditions can be built into your estate plan alongside your wishes regarding your money, property, and belongings. After all, what really makes a family a family is its values and traditions — not the way its finances read on paper.
With Veteran’s Day approaching, it is important to honor those that have served our country. This time is also a good opportunity for members of the military and their loved ones to consider setting up an – or revising an existing – estate plan. Military families need to consider special estate-planning issues that others do not. This is particularly true when one or more family members are deployed overseas. Beyond this, members of the military have access to special benefits and resources. This can become complicated and, for this reason, it is important that you seek special help if you are a military family.