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Aretha Franklin Owes Nearly $8 Million to IRS

According to documents recently filed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Aretha Franklin owes the government nearly $8 million, based on $6.3 million in back taxes from 2012 to 2018, plus an additional $1.5 million in penalties. This is just one of a number of liens placed on the late singer's estate, and it's also not the first time she has been in trouble for not paying taxes.

Chris Cornell Family Sues Doctor for Singer's Death

Chris Cornell, former frontman for the famous grunge band, Soundgarden, died in 2017 by hanging himself. Though the cause of death is not in dispute, the singer's wife and his family have filed a suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the doctor that allegedly over-prescribed him lorazepam for medical malpractice and willful misconduct.

Appeals Court Lifts Injunction on Lynyrd Skynyrd Movie

Street Survivor: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash, the movie about the fateful Lynyrd Skynyrd accident that killed three of the band's members, appears headed to a theater near you. Though the lower court initially blocked the film and music company, Cleopatra, from distributing the movie based on a consent decree between members of the band, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the consent decree was "sufficiently inconsistent," and is letting the film progress to release.

Why Did Burt Reynolds Create a Trust for His Son?

Burt Reynolds died unexpectedly, but he did leave a will, drafted seven years prior. Reynolds intentionally left his son, Quinton, out of the will, stating that he had provided for Quinton during his lifetime with a Declaration of Trust. Reynolds' niece, Nancy Lee Brown Hess, is the personal representative of Reynolds' estate. Why would Burt Reynolds intentionally leave his son out of his will, and instead, provide for him with a trust? Three good reasons are taxes, probate, and financial management.

Aretha Franklin Didn't Have a Will: What Does This Mean for Her Estate?

Aretha Franklin died earlier this week, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Sadly, her death did not come as a surprise, since this is one of the few incurable cancers, and she had been sick for a while. What is a surprise, however, is that she died without a will.

Usually the two types of people that do have wills are those that are wealthy, and those that are terminally ill. Franklin was both. So why did she die without a will, leaving her $80 million estate to go intestate and split equally among her four children? At first glance, one might think she was dodging some sort of family squabble about her estate, perhaps how much money should be left to her longtime boyfriend, Willie Wilkerson. Maybe splitting evenly among her children is exactly what she wanted?

But what is slightly strange is that her eldest child has special needs, requiring both financial and other support. Most lawyers would have advised leaving at least his portion in some sort of trust with a reliable executor, especially since it could take years for her estate to be dispersed by the state of Michigan.

Stan Lee Wins Restraining Order Against Ex-Manager

Stan Lee needed a superhero, and the law came to his rescue. Lee, now 95, co-creator of such superheroes as Spider Man, the Incredible Hulk, and X-Men, has been the alleged victim of fraud, elder abuse, and embezzlement by his self-proclaimed business partner, Keya Morgan.

Morgan had been issued a temporary restraining order to stay away from Lee, based on a series of incidents which transpired in May 2018. Now the Los Angeles County Superior Court has turned that into a permanent three year restraining order, keeping Morgan away from Lee, his daughter,C.J. Lee, and son-in-law, Larry Leiber.

Elvis Presley's Daughter Claims Fortune Is Gone

Lisa Marie Presley, the only child and sole heir of Elvis Presley's estate, is more than All Shook Up. The estate she inherited, worth over $100 million, is gone. But don't blame Lisa Marie! In a recent lawsuit filed in a California Superior Court against Miss Presley's former business manager, Barry Siegel, she claims that the entire fortune was lost through poor investment decisions.

Barry Siegel's attorney tried to keep the lawsuit from moving forward by saying that it belonged in a civil court, not a probate court. But the judge threw out the motion to dismiss, and the case is moving forward, much to the delight of Lisa Marie and her attorney.

Prince's Heirs Sue Hospital, Walgreens for Wrongful Death

Whether you loved songs like "Purple Rain" or not, there's no denying Prince was an iconic musician of the 80s and 90s. And whether you knew him as Prince, the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, the love symbol, or one of his other many names, he amassed a following that continues today and is still reeling from his sudden death.

Although his death occurred over two years ago, the legal repercussions of that event are just now materializing. Despite the fact that no criminal charges have been filed, a number of civil actions have been. In one such suit, the heirs to Prince's estate are suing a hospital and Walgreens for wrongful death.

Harper Lee's Estate Sues Over Broadway Musical Adaptation

Copyright protects original works of authorship, such as literary works. This protection is in place so that an author can protect his or her work from being used by someone else without permission. Of course, an author can always allow others to use the work, although he or she will usually do so through a contract, which can limit how the work may be used as well as ensure the integrity of the work.

In 2015, Harper Lee signed a contract with Rudinplay, a production company, to allow the company to adapt her book To Kill a Mockingbird into a play. However, Lee's estate has sued the production company to determine who exactly has the final authority in determining if the Broadway adaptation is consistent with the original spirit of the book.

If you haven't heard it before, it bears repeating: dying without a will can cause unnecessary familial strife and financial strain, to say nothing of the delay in probate for sorting out your estate. And nowhere is that strife, strain, and delay more apparent than after celebrity deaths, with children, exes, and even labels and studios fighting over celebrity estates.

Even when a celebrity dies with a will, sorting out the estate can be contentious. When they die without one? Get ready for some intestate hostilities. Here are three celebrities who famously died without a will.