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Coyle & Wytychak Elder Law News

February 2019, Volume 2, Issue 14

What is going on?

We now accept credit cards through our website,! Click on the “Payments” tab on the home page to be directed to the LawPay website.  

The Alzheimer’s Association will present “Dementia Conversations- Driving, Doctor Visits, Legal and Financial Planning” on February 5, 2019 from 1:30 to 3 at the Lake City Center in Coeur d’ Alene.  This seminar is free and open to the public! Call (208) 666-2996 for more information.

The Lake City Senior Center is now offering smartphone classes!  For more information, visit  

The Alzheimer’s Association and the Kroc Center host the Memory Café on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month at 1:00 p.m. at the Kroc Center Café.  It’s a safe place for those with memory loss and their friends and family to enjoy a favorite drink with others.  Contact PJ Christo at (208) 666-2996 for more information.

Check out Coyle and Wytychak Elder Law on Facebook! “Like” us to stay informed and hear about events in the senior community. Search for Coyle & Wytychak Elder Law.  Share our page with your friends and family so they can also take advantage of the informative articles and information!

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

  • John Steinbeck

Learn from the Mistake of These Celebrities Who All Died Without a Will                        By Rebecca Eyman

Celebrities!  They’re just like us!  It makes the rich and famous seem relatable when they are spotted by the paparazzi grocery shopping or pumping their own gas.  What is more surprising (and for estate planning attorneys, frustrating) is that sometimes celebrities make the common mistake of failing to prepare a comprehensive estate plan.  With all of the financial advisors, agents, managers, and other professionals that are employed by celebrities, it seems shocking that such an important task could be overlooked. However, it’s more common than you may think.

One such notable example is the late “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, who passed away on August 16, 2018.  Her estate was estimated to be worth $80 million, and she died without a will or any other sort of estate planning document.  Franklin was survived by four sons, one of whom has special needs. Now, Franklin’s heirs will have to wait while the case works its way through probate before they can expect to receive her inheritance.  This situation could have been avoided if Franklin had established a living trust during her lifetime.

Another musician who died without a will is Prince, who passed away on April 21, 2016, leaving an estate valued at $200 million. Over two years later, his estate still has not been distributed to his six siblings.  The executor and the IRS are working on valuing the estate, and while Prince’s siblings have not yet received any portion of their inheritance, lawyers working on the case have already collected approximately $6 million in attorney’s fees.

After musician turned congressman Sonny Bono died unexpectedly in a skiing accident, it was discovered that he did not have a will.  Apparently, while he meant to have a will drawn up, he simply never got around to do it. The result was that his widow, Mary Bono, battled for years to be appointed as his executor.  Bono’s previous spouse, Cher, sued the estate for $1.6 million in unpaid alimony. To make matters even more awkward, a 35-year-old man came forward claiming to be Bono’s illegitimate son, and seeking to inherit from his estate.  It took many years for Bono’s estate to be fully distributed to his lawful heirs.


Whether you’re famous or not and regardless of the size of your estate, it’s always a good idea to have a comprehensive estate plan in place, including a will or trust and Powers of Attorney for health care and finances.  If you already have an estate plan, now could be a great time to review it to make sure it is current and still reflects your wishes. The attorneys of Coyle and Wytychak Elder Law are here to help!


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