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Aretha Franklin: The Future of Another Musical Icon’s Estate Left Uncertain

Please enjoy our first cross-Atlantic blog post since the merger of Bryan Cave and Berwin Leighton Paisner.  Caroline Ferrigan is a Senior Associate in the Private Client team in Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s London office.  Stephanie Moll is a Private Client Partner in Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s Denver and St Louis offices.

 

The music world was left mourning the death of another legend recently with the passing of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.  A woman with a voice full of power and emotion, her death leaves a musical landscape with few (if any) who can emulate someone rated by Rolling Stone as the greatest singer of all time.  However, as well as leaving a gaping hole in the music industry, Aretha Franklin’s death may also leave an estate administration headache, as

Missouri Court Of Appeals Holds That Attorney-In-Fact Violated Fiduciary Duty

With research and drafting assistance from Washington University School of Law student, Kelsey DeLong.

In Estate of Lambur, the Missouri Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether an attorney-in-fact is permitted to gift the principal’s property to herself when the gift is not expressly authorized in the power of attorney.

In 2005, Verna Irene Lambur (“Irene”) executed a durable power of attorney naming her nephew’s wife, Anna Stidham (“Anna”), and Jackie Johnson (“Jackie”) as her attorneys-in-fact.  The power of attorney granted Irene’s attorneys-in-fact the following power:

To establish, change or revoke survivorship rights in property or accounts, beneficiary designations for life insurance, IRA and other contracts and plans, and registrations in beneficiary form; to establish ownership of property or accounts in my name with others in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship and to exercise any right I have in joint property; to

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