Lessons Learned from High-Profile Estate Plans

(or lack thereof)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 1:00-2:30pm EDT

Complimentary Live Video Roundtable Event

View Recording


Roundtable Moderator:  Vanessa L. Kanaga, Esq., President and Director of Content Development, InterActive Legal

Roundtable Panelists:  Teresa L. Bush, Esq., Lori Anne Douglass, Esq., Daniel J. Scott, Esq., and John J. Scroggin, J.D., LL.M.

Event Description:  The news is full of stories about celebrity estate planning disasters, whether triggered by the death of a famous person, or questions regarding a living celebrity’s mental or physical health. Controversy surrounding the estate plan – or lack thereof – often becomes newsworthy, bringing into public view certain planning decisions that can be ripe for criticism by those in the estate planning business. In addition to being entertaining and sometimes heartbreaking, these cases can provide insight on what not to do and allow us to consider options for addressing similar challenging situations when faced by the typical (non-celebrity) client. In this live video roundtable, our panelists will discuss famous (or infamous) celebrity estate plans, do a bit of Monday-morning-quarterbacking, and consider the moral of each story – how could the problems have been avoided, what strategies might have helped to resolve the controversy, and how might the plan have been better executed, in hindsight. The panelists will relate these famous estate planning battles to challenges they have faced in their practice, and discuss the lessons learned from both celebrity and real-world cases.

Topics we expect to cover:

• Why so many people die without an estate plan – and when that might be okay

• Strategies to avoid will contests

• Dealing with blended families

• Planning for minors, particularly when there is significant wealth involved

• Disposition of remains and funeral arrangements

Don’t miss this presentation of creative solutions that can prevent estate planning problems before they begin, both for estate plans that are in the news, and those that are just in the neighborhood.



Our Roundtable Moderator

Vanessa L. Kanaga, Esq., President and Director of Content Development, InterActive Legal ^

Vanessa Kanaga joined InterActive Legal in April 2013 and serves as President and Director of Content Development. Ms. Kanaga received her J.D. from Cornell Law School, Magna Cum Laude, in 2006, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Wichita State University, with a minor in Music, in 2003. She also served as a Legal Intern in the City Attorney’s Office in Ithaca, New York during the Summer of 2004. In 2011, Vanessa received an Advanced Professional Certificate from New York University School of Law.  Following law school, Vanessa practiced in New York for several years, at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP, and then Moses & Singer, LLP. In 2012, she returned to her home town of Wichita, Kansas, where she was an associate attorney in the estate planning and probate practice group at Hinkle Law Firm, LLC, before joining InterActive Legal.

Meet the Panelists

Teresa L. Bush, Esq.  ^

Teresa Bush joined InterActive Legal in 2007 and serves as Director of Education and Support Services. Teresa has been licensed to practice law since 1991, and focused her practice exclusively on issues of estate and gift tax planning, probate, and estate and trust administration. She began her practice in a small law firm, planning for clients of all levels of wealth. Thereafter, she practiced for a number of years in the Tax Section of Kelly, Hart and Hallman, P.C. in Fort Worth, Texas, and as an estate and gift tax consultant for the Dallas office of Ernst & Young. Teresa received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, where she was a research assistant for Professor Stanley M. Johanson, and interned for a Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons. Teresa has presented several online webinars on estate planning and drafting topics, and is the author or co-author of a variety of estate planning articles, including the recent blog posts: Have you Met Clayton? and The Cobbler’s Children.

Lori Anne Douglass, Esq. ^

Lori Anne Douglass, of Douglass Rademacher LLP in New York, New York, focuses her practice on estate planning and business succession planning, as well as estate administration and estate litigation. Lori handles both contested and uncontested estate matters, representing heirs, beneficiaries, disinherited family members, executors, administrators and trustees in contested probate proceedings, and advising clients in the preparation of family agreements and resolving family disputes. She is frequently interviewed for articles on estate and business planning and is a well-known lecturer at national conferences and continuing legal education seminars. Lori has written extensively in her practice areas and has been named to the New York Metro Super Lawyers list in recognition of her work in estate litigation for 2012-2018. Lori was recently interviewed on both CNBC and NPR about Aretha Franklin dying intestate: Famous or Not, Here’s Why You Should Have a Will.

Daniel J. Scott, Esq.  ^

Daniel J. Scott is founder and principal of Scott Law, PLLC, in New York, New York. Dan spent over 12 years at some of the best law firms in the world. Determined to bring that same level of expertise and service to a broader range of clients at a fixed and more affordable cost, Dan set out to launch his own practice in 2014. His unique style and brand of providing legal services and advice is refreshing, effective and greatly appreciated (many clients call him the “un-lawyer”.) As a musician and writer, Dan uses his creativity and personal experience to find innovative solutions and assist clients in achieving their own greatest success. Dan is also devoted to educating and serving the creative community and focusing on the needs of musicians, actors, and other entertainers, and is a pioneer in the realm of artist legacy planning. Dan recently wrote about celebrity intestacy for Forbes: The Real Reason Why Artists Like Prince and Aretha Franklin Die Without a Will.

John J. Scroggin, J.D., LL.M. ^

John J. Scroggin is a partner with Scroggin & Company, P.C., in Roswell, Georgia. Jeff is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Florida Levin College of Law, and has served as a Founding Director of the Florida Tax Institute since 2012. He was Founding Editor of the NAEPC Journal of Estate and Tax Planning from 2006-2010, and is the author of over 260 published articles on tax, business, and estate planning. In 2017, Jeff was inducted into the NAEPC Estate Planning Hall of Fame. Additionally, he has been named a Georgia “SuperLawyer” for each year since 2009, and one of US News and World Report’s Best Lawyers in America for 2018 and 2019. He has been quoted in the national media over 100 times, including in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, and Forbes Magazine. Jeff has written an extensive outline about what we can learn from celebrity estate plans: What Dead Celebrities can Teach us about Estate Planning.

CLE Credits

InterActive Legal is not an approved Continuing Education Sponsor. However, several states and regulatory agencies for a variety of professionals that participate on our teleconferences may still receive continuing education credit for their participation. If a participant wishes to receive CE credit for their participation in these teleconferences, they must apply to receive credit on their own and through their individual states and regulatory authorities. It is the responsibility of the participant to file for CE credit and is not guaranteed by InterActive Legal.

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