Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

Recently in Celebrity Estates Category

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.

The rightful heirs to estate of the late artist, Prince, have finally been identified by a Minnesota probate court over a year after his death. However, before they can collect, the rightful heirs are required to wait an additional year for appeals by those who were rejected as heirs. This means that additional heirs could potentially be named, though it is not expected.

While it is not unusual for celebrity deaths to result in multiple claims to the deceased's estate, Prince's death resulted in over 40 different claims. Many of which, such as the one from an incarcerated fellow in Colorado, were disproved using DNA tests. Last week, the judge ruled that Prince's six siblings will split the $200 million estate.

The trustees of Elizabeth Taylor's estate have filed a lawsuit against Christie's due to a couple disputes over some high priced auction items. The late Taylor's jewelry collection was acclaimed as legendary. The actress, businesswoman, and fragrance mogul, amassed a fortune in jewels throughout her life, a treasure trove that sold for over $150 million after her death.

The primary issue involves a $9 million diamond that was rumored to have been owned by a Mughal emperor from the 1600s (but was not listed as such by Christie's). In addition to this rumored piece, another $3 million Bulgari ring is also at issue.

On February 18 and 24, 1969, the Jimi Hendrix Experience played two shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Considering the iconic artist and the iconic venue, this is no doubt a concert Hendrix fans would die to see. But thanks to ongoing litigation they're just hoping they don't die before they're able to see it.

The concerts were filmed and recorded with the express purpose of being released as a film. The problem, in the intervening 48 years, is that the parties to the recording contract can't seem to agree on how to release the footage. And with a recent California Court of Appeals decision, that release will be delayed even further.

Fans of the artist Prince were delighted with the recent announcement that a new posthumous album, named after the title track, 'Deliverance,' was being released. The unexpected surprise album was all set to release this Friday, on the one year anniversary of Prince's death. Unfortunately for fans, the album's producer, Prince's former sound engineer, will not be able to drop the album on time, or maybe ever at all, thanks to a federal court order.

The controversy over the new album is courtesy of Paisley Park, Prince's music company and estate. Essentially, Paisley Park convinced a court to temporarily stop the former sound engineer from releasing the six song album of unreleased Prince songs. Fortunately for fans, one of the tracks was released early, and has, hopefully, now been immortalized on the internet. Fans may have a long time to wait before ever hearing the other songs. While the order blocking the album release is only temporary, there is a high likelihood that it will be made permanent.

The battle between the IRS and Michael Jackson's estate is heating up. While trial is not set to begin until 2017, the end result could make this a billion dollar case. The dispute centers around the value of Michael Jackson's likeness rights at the time of his death. The IRS claims that these rights were worth approximately $434 million, while the estate asserts that these were only worth about $2,100.

Most recently, the court has decided to exclude expert analysis on the valuation of Jackson's image. However, it has required certain key members of the legal team from Jackson's estate to be deposed, as well as one of Jackson's former business managers. Since this case has been pending since shortly after the pop star's death, nearly half a decade ago, the legal fees have become astronomical. It is estimated that by the time the case is through, if the IRS prevails, the estate will owe nearly $1 billion.

The Jiggaman may be wondering what is going on after getting sued by the now deceased artist known as Prince. This week, Prince's companies filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Jay-Z's company Roc Nation, for allegedly streaming Prince's music on the Tidal streaming service without permission.

While Prince's companies concede that Tidal has authorization to stream one of Prince's albums, the suit is focused on the streaming of several songs not on the one album, as well as the unauthorized use of Prince's images. Perhaps the Roc Nation thought they'd be able to get away with a little copyright infringement after Prince's death this past April, or perhaps there's more to it.