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Man Tried to Electrocute Dad on Thanksgiving: Cops

The older man reportedly passed out briefly

(Newser) - A central Florida man is accused of trying to electrocute his father after finding out he was the sole beneficiary of the elderly man's will. Ormond Beach police said Monday that 81-year-old John Knudsen told them his 44-year-old son, also named John Knudsen, held two black wires to his... More »

Woman Wants Joint Burial With (Not-Dead) Dog

Odd request in will sets off campaign to 'save Bella'

(Newser) - The most famous dog in America today just might be a 9-year-old German shepherd named Bella. As WCPO explains, Bella's owner died last month, and her will leaves Bella's fate in the hands of a close friend. The options: Send Bella to a shelter in Utah or, if... More »

Rooney's Widow Demands Slice of Tiny Estate

His biological children are also challenging his will

(Newser) - Mickey Rooney may not have left a celebrity-sized fortune behind, but his estranged widow wants a cut of it anyway. Janice Rooney is challenging the late actor's will, which leaves his entire $18,000 estate to stepson/caretaker Mark Aber, omitting Janice Rooney and other children, CNN reports. Her lawyer... More »

Google Now Lets You Create a Data Will

You can decide what happens to your account after you croak

(Newser) - Google unveiled a new feature yesterday that will answer one of life's great burning questions: What will happen to my email when I die? Dubbed the Inactive Account Manager—"not a great name, we know," the company admits in this blog post —the feature lets Google... More »

Poisoned Lotto Winner's Family Fighting Over Check

Court documents reveal dispute around Urooj Khan's estate

(Newser) - The plot has thickened in the case of poisoned lottery winner Urooj Khan. Court documents reviewed by the AP reveal that Khan's death has led to a bitter fight amongst his survivors over his estate—including his still uncashed $425,000 lotto check. Because Khan died without a will,... More »

William's 30th Birthday Present: $16M

He can access princely sum from mom next month

(Newser) - Life will soon be even sweeter for Prince William and his popular Princess Kate. Wills is about to inherit as much as $16 million from the estate of his late mother. "It will be quite a handy sum if he wants to buy his and Kate’s first family... More »

New End-of-Life Planning: Social Media Wills

Feds want you to plan what happens to your online profile

(Newser) - Social networking has already changed our lives; now, officials want us to consider its implications after our death. On its blog, the US government is calling on Americans to create "social media wills," which detail our wishes for the future of the huge range of online accounts we... More »

Italian Leaves Home— and Pets—to Boston

But locals plan grab for $700K estate

(Newser) - Boston just got a new piece of real estate—in Italy. An Italian man whose mother and aunt lived in Boston left his estate to the city, the Boston Globe reports. But if Beantown wants it, it's going to have to do some petsitting. “The City of Boston, MA,... More »

Hairdresser Must Return $600K Tip

Family has will of eccentric sisters overturned in court

(Newser) - It was almost one of the greatest tips of all time. A judge has ruled that a UK hairdresser must return the approximately $600,000 she inherited from two elderly sisters who were customers. The sisters' family successfully challenged the validity of the will, which had been revised by the... More »

Chihuahua at Center of $29M Estate Battle

Did Gail Posner really love her dog—or was she manipulated?

(Newser) - A dying heiress leaves her $8.3 million mansion and a $3 million trust fund to her chihuahua, so little Conchita can continue to live in the diamond-wearing, spa-going manner to which she is accustomed. Sounds like just another tale of the eccentric rich, right? But Gail Posner's son thinks... More »

Fortune of Asia's Richest Woman Goes to Charity

Billions go to trust, not her feng shui lover

(Newser) - Following a twisted series of sometimes bizarre court battles dating back to the '90s, a Hong Kong court today ruled that the $4.2 billion estate of Asia's richest woman will go to a charitable trust—and not to her feng shui master lover. Tony Chan claimed Nina Wang carried... More »

The Strange Story of Jack Kerouac's Estate

A mama's boy, a will that's a forgery, and '100 Greek relatives'

(Newser) - When Jack Kerouac died, wallowing in alcohol and obscurity, the bank estimated his estate’s value at $1. He left everything to his mother, and when she died, she left it to Kerouac’s third wife, Stella Sampas—or so everyone believed. Recently a Florida court ruled Gabrielle Kerouac's will... More »

Jackson's Mom Gets $86K a Month

Estate awards allowance while singer's affairs are settled

(Newser) - Michael Jackson’s estate pays his mother $86,804 every month, the LA Times reports. Estate administrators set up the allowance because the pop singer’s estate—worth an estimated $500 million—is so vast that settling it in court could take years. The allowance pays Katherine Jackson $26,804... More »

DJ AM Left $1M, No Will

Late DJ's mother asks to be named as sole heir

(Newser) - DJ AM died without leaving a will or any instructions on what should be done with his fortune, E! Online reports. The late DJ's mother has asked a court to name her as his sole heir, since he had no spouse or children. The 36-year-old DJ died with assets... More »

The Astor Trial So Far: High Society, Low Class

(Newser) - Meryl Gordon has a plum seat at the so-called Brooke Astor trial, in which her son, Anthony Marshall, stands accused of thievery. Complete with the crème de la crème of New York society recounting terrible things and scathing Astorisms, Gordon writes in Vanity Fair, it’s a “... More »

Cronkite Will Leaves Gal Pal High and Dry

Money goes to kids, CBS staff; daughter: 'it was about my mother'

(Newser) - Walter Cronkite left nada in his will for his opera star girlfriend, reports the New York Post. The 2005 document, written before he and singer Joanna Simon became attached at the hip, divides Cronkite's estate among his three kids and his CBS staff. The newsman’s daughter says Cronkite never... More »

Jacko Autopsy Results Under Wraps, Kids Get Biz Guardian

(Newser) - Michael Jackson's autopsy has been completed, but authorities won't release the results until after their investigation into his death has been completed, reports CNN. Detectives are investigating what role the anesthetic propofol—administered by Dr. Conrad Murphy—played in the singer's death, according to sources. Meanwhile, Jackson's three children are... More »

Daughter-in-Law Scolded Astor for Breaking Hip

Charlene Marshall berated 101-year-old in hospital: witness

(Newser) - Brooke Astor’s daughter-in-law berated the 101-year-old socialite for breaking her hip in 2003, the New York Post reports. “We had to cancel our trip to London all because of you!” Charlene Marshall groused to the hospitalized Astor, according to testimony from housekeeper Angela Moore. Anthony Marshall is... More »

In Estate Planning, Take a Lesson From MJ

He knew what he was doing—and we should follow his example

(Newser) - Michael Jackson wasn't known for his financial prudence, but he got one thing right: his estate planning, writes Jane Bennett Clark for Kiplinger. Here’s how to follow his good example:
  • Write a will: Two-thirds of Americans don’t. Jackson’s is concrete: His kids get 40% of his
... More »

Jackson's Mom Loses Court Battle Over Will

Judge sides with executors named in 2002 will

(Newser) - An LA judge shot down Katherine Jackson’s request to keep control of her son’s estate today, handing the keys instead to the executors named in Michael’s 2002 will, the LA Times reports. Katherine Jackson said she wasn’t challenging the will’s legitimacy, but argued that a... More »

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