Dolph Briscoe Jr. was a Texas rancher and businessman and was the 41st Governor of Texas between 1973 and 1979. His oldest child, Janey Briscoe Marmion, established the foundation with her father to honor her only child, Kate, who died in 2008 at the age of 20.
The Uvalde Leader-News’ recent article entitled “Briscoe family lawsuit targets Marmion’s will” reports that Marmion’s original will filed in 2011 directed her assets to be placed in a revocable trust.
The foundation was to have received income from half of her wealth for 22 years. The rest was directed to the children of her brother Chip Briscoe and those of her sister Cele Carpenter of Dallas.
However, a second will executed by Marmion in 2014 and admitted to probate in the County Court in December 2018— a month and a day after her death—calls for three trusts, including two child’s trusts created by her father and a generation-skipping trust (GST). A GST is a type of trust agreement in which the contributed assets are transferred to the grantor's grandchildren, "skipping" the next generation (the grantor's children).
Marmion created the Janey Marmion Briscoe GST Trust, dated November 1, 2012, in which she gave a third of her assets to the foundation and the other two-thirds to be divided equally between Chip Briscoe’s sons.
Carpenter’s three children filed suit in Dallas and in Uvalde County last year challenging the validity of the 2014 will and contesting the probate.
Their complaint alleges that Marmion intended to include the three as beneficiaries, in addition to Chip’s two sons, and that the situation creates a disproportionate inheritance in favor of the Briscoe men.
The amount in question is more than $500 million, since the former Texas governor’s estate was estimated by Forbes to be worth as much as $1.3 billion in 2015. Governor Briscoe died in Uvalde in 2010 at the age of 87.
Reference: Uvalde (TX) Leader-News (March 11, 2021) “Briscoe family lawsuit targets Marmion’s will”
The IRS said that Aretha Franklin’s estate owed more than $7.8 million in unpaid income taxes, interest and penalties from 2010 to 2017.
The Detroit Free Press’ recent article entitled “Aretha Franklin estate reaches deal with IRS to pay off claimed $7.8 million tax debt” reports a big breakthrough. It seems that Franklin’s four sons and the IRS have reached a settlement that would expedite the payment of the remaining tax burden and allow her sons access to some of the money from their late mother’s fortune.
Aretha’s heirs have not yet inherited anything from the estate because of the IRS situation.
In a petition filed February 19 in Oakland County Probate Court, the estate said the proposed arrangement includes an immediate $800,000 payment to the IRS. This is despite the fact that the estate continues to question the total tax bill owed.
Since her death, Franklin’s estate has been steadily paying on the tax debt, as well as the constantly growing interest, as it appeals the IRS’s claimed total. As of December 2020, the balance was $4.75 million.
The new petition says the final IRS bill will be determined “by agreement or litigation.”
The agreement between the estate and the IRS details the way in which Aretha’s posthumous revenue will be distributed, until the tax debt is resolved. Backdated to January 1 of this year, it includes new income from song royalties, licensing agreements and other money streams. This agreement states that 45% of quarterly revenue will go toward the existing IRS balance. 40% would also be earmarked for an escrow account to deal with the taxes due on the newly generated income. The other 15% of revenue would be used for managing the estate.
The agreement also provides an immediate $50,000 payment to each of Franklin’s four sons and approves quarterly cash payouts to them. This proposed deal, authorized by 10 attorneys representing the sons, was submitted to the court by attorney Reginald Turner. The Detroit lawyer and incoming American Bar Association president was appointed last year as temporary personal representative of the Franklin estate. The agreement has to be approved by Judge Jennifer Callaghan to be executable.
Franklin died in August 2018, after a long battle with cancer.
Reference: Detroit Free Press (March 1, 2021) “Aretha Franklin estate reaches deal with IRS to pay off claimed $7.8 million tax debt”