Colorado Probate Blog - Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, P.C.

Value of Michael Jackson’s Image

When Michael Jackson died, his estate valued his image and “right of publicity” at zero on his U.S. Estate Tax Return, as well as the value of his music interests due to the large debts encumbering those interests. The IRS disagreed, and argued that the success of the documentary and Cirque du Soleil show released after his death were foreseeable and should affect the value of his estate. The disagreement resulted in a $526 million estate tax deficiency and penalties of $205 million imposed by the IRS. The trial began in Tax Court on February 6, 2017.

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Social Media Provisions in Marital Agreements

A new trend in marital agreements involves the use of social media during the marriage. Couples are considering the inclusion of a provision which describes acceptable use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other on-line social websites, and penalties for unauthorized use. For example, a couple might state that neither will post any pictures which include nudity or could be detrimental to a professional career. Ann-Margaret Carrozza, a New York state attorney, says it is only recently she has seen these kinds of clauses, but reports 1/3 of her clients now want to include such a provision. A violation of such a clause often comes with a monetary penalty for the offending spouse. Although we here at Wade Ash have yet to hear such a request, we feel certain it's coming soon. For more on this trend, see Social Media.

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