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What’s the Latest on Britney Spears’ Conservatorship?
Father's Death Results in Blogger Attacking Britney Spears and Her Conservatorship

What’s the Latest on Britney Spears’ Conservatorship?

A court order requires an online blogger, Anthony Elia, to stop talking negatively about Britney’s conservatorship, as well as republishing, distributing, or disseminating posts. The man also can’t authorize or ask third parties to do so for him.

Yahoo Entertainment’s recent article entitled “Britney Spears’ Dad Wins Injunction Against #FreeBritney Blogger” reports that last summer, after getting death threats, Britney Spears’ dad, Jamie Spears, sued Elia on behalf of Britney’s conservatorship, claiming the blog and its social media accounts defamed him and the rest of the entertainer’s team. According to court documents, Elia was accused of falsely stating that Britney’s team was “using her social media in a way to negatively portray her and do her harm.”

Britney’s conservatorship asked the court for unspecified damages, due to the alleged damage done to the conservatorship’s “business, occupation, reputation as conservator, and standing in the community.”

“It is time for the conspiracy theories about Britney Spears’ well-being and the mob #FreeBritney movement to stop,” the court document stated. “Elia has made it his mission to spread numerous false and malicious lies on the Internet about Britney, her conservatorship, and her team, including that those around Britney are harming her and not acting in her best interests. It is clear that, without any actual information about Britney and what is or is not in her well-being, [he] has made it his agenda to ensure that Britney is no longer in a conservatorship.”

All of this uproar happened after Elia and fans started the #FreeBritney movement, in which they said she was being held against her will. In one incident, Elia’s blog accused Britney’s team of only leaving negative comments on her Instagram “to keep up the illusion that she needs help,” and also said they were deleting positive comments.

“They were all so quick to remove all comments before, but now all the sudden they are leaving all negative ones but removing positive ones!” a post from the blog’s Instagram account claimed. “How much longer is this going to be?!? This has to be human rights violation!!!! #FreeBritney.”

“We unequivocally deny the absurd allegations that we have promoted negative statements or deleted positive posts from Instagram and are considering appropriate action,” Britney Spears’ reps said in a statement.

Last fall, Jamie temporarily stepped down as his daughter’s conservator due to health issues. A judge approved the request and appointed Britney’s longtime care manager, Jodi Montgomery, as her new conservator until Jamie recovered.

Read all about conservatorships.

Reference: Yahoo Entertainment (Dec. 21, 2019) “Britney Spears’ Dad Wins Injunction Against #FreeBritney Blogger”

How Do I Plan for My Incapacity?
Good incapacity planning can make certain that your health-care wishes will be carried out, and that your finances will continue to be competently managed.

How Do I Plan for My Incapacity?

The Post-Searchlight’s recent article, “How to go about planning for incapacity,” advises that planning ahead can make certain that your health-care wishes will be carried out, and that your finances will continue to be competently managed.

Incapacity can strike at any time. Advancing age can bring dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and a serious illness or accident can happen suddenly. Therefore, it’s a real possibility that you or your spouse could become unable to handle your own medical or financial affairs.

If you become incapacitated without the proper plans and documentation in place, a relative or friend will have to petition the court to appoint a guardian for you. This is a public procedure that can be stressful, time consuming and costly. In addition, without your directions, a guardian might not make the decisions you would have made.

Advance medical directives. Without any legal documents that state your wishes, healthcare providers are obligated to prolong your life using artificial means, if necessary, even if you really don’t want this. To avoid this happening to you, sign an advance medical directive. There are three types of advance medical directives: a living will, a durable power of attorney for health care (or health-care proxy) and a Do Not Resuscitate order (DNR). Each of these documents has its own purpose, benefits and drawbacks, and may not be effective in some states. Employ an experienced estate planning attorney to prepare your medical directives to make certain that you have the ones you’ll need and that all documents are consistent.

Living will. This document lets you stipulate the types of medical care you want to receive, despite the fact that you will die as a result of the choice. Check with an estate planning attorney about how living wills are used in your state.

Durable power of attorney for health care. Also called a “health-care proxy,” this document lets you designate a representative to make medical decisions on your behalf.

Do Not Resuscitate order (DNR). This is a physician’s order that tells all other medical staff not to perform CPR, if you go into cardiac arrest. There are two types of DNRs: (i) a DNR that’s only effective while you are hospitalized; and (ii) and DNR that’s used while you’re outside the hospital.

Durable power of attorney (DPOA). This document lets you to name an individual to act on your behalf. There are two types of DPOA: (i) an immediate DPOA. This document is effective immediately; and (ii) a springing DPOA, which isn’t effective until you’ve become incapacitated. Both types end at your death. Note that a springing DPOA isn’t legal in some states, so check with an estate planning attorney.

Incapacity can be determined by (i) physician certification where you can include a provision in a durable power of attorney naming one or more doctors to make the determination, or you can state that your incapacity will be determined by your attending physician at the relevant time; and (ii) judicial finding where a judge is petitioned to determine incapacity where a hearing is held where medical and other testimony will be heard.

Incapacity planning basics.

Reference: The Post-Searchlight (December 13, 2019) “How to go about planning for incapacity”

From Gentle Persuasion to a No-Nonsense Approach, Talking About Estate Plans
Adult children can help aging parents with their estate plans

From Gentle Persuasion to a No-Nonsense Approach, Talking About Estate Plans

Sometimes the first attempt is a flop. Imaging this exchange: “So, do you want to talk about what happens when you die?” Answer: “Nope.” That’s what can happen, but it doesn’t have to, says The Wall Street Journal’s recent article “Readers Offer Their Advice on Talking to Aging Parents About Estate Plans.”

Many people have successfully begun this conversation with their aging parents. The gentle persuasion method is deemed to be the most successful. Treating elderly parents as adults, which they are, and asking about their fears and concerns is one way to start. Educating, not lecturing, is a respectful way to move the conversation forward.

Instead of asking a series of rapid-fire questions, provide information. One family assembled a notebook with articles about how to find an estate planning attorney, when people might need a trust, or why naming someone as power of attorney is so important.

Others begin by first talking about less important matters than bank accounts and bequests. Asking a parent for a list of utility companies with the account number, phone number and if they are paying bills online, their password, is an easy entry to thinking about next steps. Sometimes a gentle nudge, is all it takes to unlock the doors.

For some families, a more direct, less gentle approach gets the job done. That includes being willing to tell parents that not having an estate plan or not being willing to talk about their estate plan is going to lead to disaster for everyone. Warn them about taxes or remind them that the state will disburse all of their hard-earned assets, if they don’t have a plan in place.

One son tapped into his father’s strong dislike of paying taxes. He asked a tax attorney to figure out how much the family would have to pay in estate taxes, if there were no estate plan in place. It was an eye-opener, and the father became immediately receptive to sitting down with an estate planning attorney.

A daughter had tried repeatedly to get her father to speak with an estate planning attorney about his estate plan. His response was the same for several decades: he didn’t believe that his estate was big enough to warrant doing any kind of planning. One evening the daughter simply threw up her hands in frustration and told him, “Fine, if your favorite charity is the federal government, do nothing…but if you’d rather benefit the church or a university, do something and make your desires known.”

For months after seeing an estate attorney and putting a plan in place, he repeated the same phrase to her: “I had no idea we were worth so much.”

Between the extremes is a third option: letting someone else handle the conversation. Aging parents may be more receptive to listening to a trusted individual, who is of their same generation, about good estate plans. One adult daughter contacted her wealthy mother’s estate planning attorney and financial advisor. The mother would not listen to the daughter, but she did listen to her estate planning attorney and her financial advisor, when they both reminded her that her estate plan had not been reviewed in years.

Estate planning takes many forms.

Reference: The Wall Street Journal (December 16, 2019) “Readers Offer Their Advice on Talking to Aging Parents About Estate Plans”