What’s the Fight About for Leonard Cohen’s Estate?

Leonard Cohen’s two adult children — daughter Lorca and son Adam — have been fighting in Los Angeles Superior Court for more than a year to oust attorney Robert Kory, appointed by the musician before his death, as a trustee to the Leonard Cohen Family Trust, according to court documents reviewed by The New York Post for its recent article entitled “Leonard Cohen’s kids in battle over ‘Hallelujah’ singer’s $48M estate.”

The trust controls tens of millions of dollars in royalties for the singer’s music as well as poetry, novels, photographs and 243 journal notebooks that Cohen had kept since he was a teenager. The so-called Leonard Cohen Archive is valued at more than $48 million. His estate includes copious notes on his greatest hits — including the revelation that he wrote 82 verses for “Hallelujah.”

Cohen died on November 7, 2016, after a fall in the middle of the night at his Los Angeles home.

The Cohen children say their father “came to appreciate in his waning days that he had made a grave error by allowing Kory to insinuate himself into Leonard’s affairs and take control over virtually every aspect of Leonard’s finances and legacy,” according to court papers.

Lorca and Adam claim they haven’t been kept apprised by Kory of recent efforts to monetize his estate, including the posthumous publication of a Cohen novel, “A Ballet of Lepers,” published earlier this year, and the opening of “Everybody Knows,” an exhibit at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario.

The siblings also complain in court papers that Kory has employed his son, Ryan Kory, among others, to archive Cohen’s personal papers. An attorney hired two months ago by Adam, a musician, and Lorca, a photographer, said he has proof Kory forged documents in 2005 to control the singer’s legacy.

“Leonard Cohen’s lawyers and manager forged his trust so they could fleece the estate of millions of dollars and steal the Hall of Famer’s legacy from his own children,” attorney Adam Streisand told The Post.

Streisand, who is a cousin of the singer Barbra Streisand, said there are two versions of the trust document signed by Cohen before his death. In the version that benefits the children, the trust document designates Lorca, Adam and Anjani Thomas — Cohen’s former lover and Kory’s former wife — as trustees after his death. Streisand told The Post that after Cohen died, a lawyer “swapped out … the page that says Adam, Lorca and Anjani, with a new page … that says Kory is designated trustee.”

“The one and only true version of the Trust appoints Adam, Lorca and Anjani Thomas,” according to court papers seen by The Post.

Reference: New York Post (Dec. 12, 2022) “Leonard Cohen’s kids in battle over ‘Hallelujah’ singer’s $48M estate”


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How Can I Help Hospitalized Loved One with Parkinson’s Disease?

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, nearly 10 million people live with Parkinson’s disease worldwide, and 60,000 people are diagnosed every year.

Next Avenue’s recent article entitled “How to Advocate for Your Hospitalized Loved One with Parkinson’s Disease” says most patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease will eventually require full-time care as their disease progresses, and they become less independent. As a result, adult children of PD patients are most commonly in caretaking roles, managing medications, helping with feeding, dressing, bathing and acting as medical advocates.

Likewise, research has shown that people with Parkinson’s are hospitalized at a much higher rate than older adults without PD due to complications from the disease. They’re also at an increased risk for hospital-related complications such as pneumonia, skin breakdown and confusion — all of which can be preventable.

Caregivers have an essential role in advocating for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease. Here are some ways to help ensure that they receive the best possible care in the hospital, while also promoting a speedy recovery.

As a caregiver, you can support your loved one by making sure they get the sleep they need in the hospital. Ask the nurses to minimize unnecessary distractions during the night, keep the room dark and the television off and talk quietly around the patient’s room.

Parkinson’s patients are at risk for more prolonged hospitalizations from hospital-related complications. However, a lot of these difficulties are preventable through basic hygiene. As a caregiver, you can help the nursing staff care for your loved one:

  • You can brush your loved one’s teeth or clean their mouth with hospital-provided swabs to remove dangerous bacteria that contribute to pneumonia.
  • Extra moisture, drooling and skin changes are often a result of Parkinson’s disease. Place a cloth under the person’s neck to dry any drooling and clean their face regularly with warm water.
  • Speak with nursing staff to request lotion, lip balm, or antifungal powder to help your loved one feel more comfortable.
  • Help with early mobility by assisting your loved one in moving their arms and legs.
  • If your loved one is hospitalized, they must be turned at least every two hours to relieve pressure on their lower back and buttocks. Pressure ulcers can develop from inactivity, which can cause infection, delay healing and extend hospitalization.

As a caretaker, your education and experience on Parkinson’s can be powerful, so speak up and express your needs as you advocate for your loved one.

Reference: Next Avenue (Dec. 22, 2023) “How to Advocate for Your Hospitalized Loved One with Parkinson’s Disease”


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What’s the Latest with Larry King’s Estate?

According to court documents, the firm Blouin & Company has demanded all claims filed against it by Larry King’s widow Shawn be dismissed. In October, she sued the firm accusing them of stealing money and working with the late broadcaster’s son Larry King Jr. behind her back.

Radar Online’s recent article entitled “Late TV Host Larry King’s Secret Bank Account Exposed In $100 Million Battle With His Widow” explains that the story began after King passed away last year after being hospitalized for COVID-19. Weeks later, Larry King Jr. and his lawyer went to court demanding he be named the special administrator of Larry’s estate. The younger King presented a handwritten amendment signed by Larry that left all his assets to his five children. He’d filed for divorce months before his death. However, the case wasn’t finalized.

Shawn objected to the document and claimed Larry didn’t have the mental capacity to sign the document. Shawn and Larry King Jr. reached a settlement over the will, but Shawn then filed the lawsuit against Blouin & Company seeking $100 million in damages for alleged breach of fiduciary duty, professional negligence and fraud.

“The Blouin Defendants led a fraudulent and malicious conspiracy to steal money from their own client, Mrs. King, and deprive Mrs. King from her rights and interests in the estate of her late husband,” the suit read. Shawn accused the firm of improperly transferring millions of dollars to third parties and companies without her permission.

In addition, she accused the business managers of sharing confidential financial information with Larry King Jr. as part of the fight over his estate. She said one of the managers even provided a declaration in support of Larry King Jr’s move to become an administrator. She also asserted that the firm managed secret bank accounts that permitted it to transfer money directed by Larry King Jr.

Shawn named some of Larry’s friends who concealed things from her. She said his former assistant helped the firm hide financial information from her. She also claimed the firm failed to pay her household bills and annual taxes, which caused her major problems. The lawsuit even accused the business managers of refusing to turn over her financial records.

Blouin & Company denied all allegations of wrongdoing. The firm said it was not aware of any secret bank account Shawn described, and she was the one who uncovered the accounts in the spring of 2019.

The firm said Larry never disclosed that account to it nor did it have access. It said it believes Larry created the account because Mr. King and Shawn “could not stay within their budget, and Mr. King used the account in secret to fund their lavish lifestyle.”

Blouin & Company said Larry opened the secret account without its knowledge. Moreover, he had the bank statements sent to an address at CNN, so the firm wouldn’t be aware of the account.

Reference: Radar Online (Dec. 22, 2022) “Late TV Host Larry King’s Secret Bank Account Exposed In $100 Million Battle With His Widow”


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What Does Singer Maureen McGovern Say about Her Alzheimer’s Symptoms?

“It certainly is not going to keep me from living my life,” singer Maureen McGovern said in a statement revealing her diagnosis with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

The 73-year-old Grammy Award nominee said she’s been diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and is showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in an emotional, yet optimistic statement on Facebook and her website, reports People Magazine’s recent article entitled “Maureen McGovern Reveals Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease: ‘My Inner Life Has Not Changed’.”

“What I do, or what I am still able to accomplish, has changed. I can no longer travel or perform in live concerts. In fact, I can no longer drive — how’s that for a kick in the butt?” McGovern wrote.

PCA is a degenerative neurological syndrome that causes difficulty with eyesight and processing visual information. The condition can also cause cognitive decline over time.

“Of course, it’s a challenge, but it certainly is not going to keep me from living my life. At first, I began having trouble finding, in my brain, the words I wanted to say,” McGovern said. “I struggled with the inevitable shock with fear and frankly hopelessness.”

“But slowly I realized that my inner life has not changed. My passion for music, for singing, remains profoundly robust,” she continued. “To me, music is a language that expresses what often cannot be said with just words – it elevates, expands, and heals – brings joy and comfort and can eliminate barriers by creating meaningful experiences. So, accepting this new stage in my life, I began to embrace what I have and let it be.”

Maureen McGovern said she wants to keep singing and writing songs for children, in addition to raising awareness for music therapy.

“We are all patients and caregivers at some time in our lives. I have experienced how music and the arts free our spirits and opens our hearts to our common humanity,” she said. “I hope you will continue to join me on these next endeavors.”

After starting out in folk music, the singer was asked to perform “The Morning After,” the theme song from 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and was certified gold by the R.I.A.A. The song’s popularity also earned McGovern a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist in 1974.

In addition, she sang another song that won the Best Original Song Oscar: “We May Never Love Like This Again,” which she performed onscreen in 1974’s The Towering Inferno.

Reference: People Magazine (Aug. 20, 2022) “Maureen McGovern Reveals Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease: ‘My Inner Life Has Not Changed’”


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Intestacy – Who Were the 119 Heirs?

Intestacy – A Chicago man’s $11 million estate is being divided between 119 relatives after a company unraveled his accounts and family tree.

Block Club Chicago’s recent article entitled “A Chicago Man Quietly Left Behind $11 Million — The Largest Unclaimed Estate In American History” reports that Joseph Stancak lived a quiet life in Gage Park, Illinois, outside of Chicago. He was found dead in his modest bungalow in 2016, according to the state treasurer’s office. Little is known about him — except that he left behind a fortune, said Rudy Quinn, president of Linking Assets Inc., a company that locates unclaimed money.

Stancak never married, had no children or immediate family and died at 87 years old with no will. He was a lifelong Chicagoan who owned a boat named “Easy” and invested in mutual funds, said treasurer’s office spokesperson Greg Rivara.

His neighbors told CBS News he lived frugally.

“No one knows what this guy did and what led him to diversify his wealth in the way that he did. … And we didn’t know his property would balloon to $11 million,” Quinn said. “We had to get creative.”

Stancak’s six siblings are dead, and none of them had children.

Investigators toiled for several years pulling records to build a family tree of possible heirs. The tree grew roots “five generations deep,” leading back to “living cousins once or twice removed in many countries,” said attorney Kenneth Piercey, who represents Stancak’s estate.

The 119 heirs to Stancak’s millions are in Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and some in the Chicago area. It’s the largest return of unclaimed money in United States history.

“In my office I have a scroll 15 feet long that can go across the entire room,” Piercey said. “I’ve never seen a case this complicated before.”

“And we don’t even have a picture of the guy,” Rivara said.

It’ll likely take up to four years to distribute the money. Piercey said that many of the heirs live overseas.

After taxes, the average heir will get a check in the $60,000 range.

Remarkably, none of them had heard of Stancak before, Piercey said.

“There’s no shortage of people who had money tucked away,” Piercey said. “And nobody ever knew.”

Reference: Block Club Chicago (Oct. 24, 2022) “A Chicago Man Quietly Left Behind $11 Million — The Largest Unclaimed Estate In American History”


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Is Flaxseed Good for Seniors?

Flaxseed – Some factors are out of our control, like genetics. However, we can exert control over what we eat. A nutritious diet can support healthy aging in more ways than one, according to the National Institute on Aging, reports Livestrong’s recent article entitled “Want to Age Well? Add a Spoon of This to Your Daily Diet”

“While we have yet to find the fountain of youth, there is research to suggest that the foods we put in our body may affect how quickly our organs and bodies and age,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, RD, the senior clinical dietitian at UCLA Medical Center.

Eating more nutrients for longevity can be as simple as adding a single spoonful of flaxseed to your daily diet. It’s a rich source of healthy fats and other beneficial nutrients. It’s recommended that older adults eat four to five servings of nuts and seeds per week, according to the USDA 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The typical serving size of flaxseeds is one to two tablespoons. They should be eaten ground instead of whole.

Ground flaxseeds are easier on your digestive system and may provide more nutrients than whole flaxseeds, which can pass through your system undigested, according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Here are three benefits of flaxseeds for healthy aging.

  1. Flaxseed Has Nutrients Linked to Disease Prevention. The typical Western diet is high in fat, sodium, sugar and calories. This increases the risk of obesity and chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes, according to November 2020 research in Missouri Medicine. This type of diet is associated with highly processed and fast foods that can cause inflammation and leave a lot of room for nutritional gaps. However, eating an antioxidant-rich diet neutralizes free radicals and prevents them from damaging cells and increasing the risk of adverse health conditions.
  2. They’re High in Omega-3s, Which Support Heart and Brain Health. Flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for healthy aging. There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Flaxseeds contain ALA, which can be converted into EPA and DHA.

“Omega-3s are beneficial for heart health and are anti-inflammatory, which is essential for healthy aging,” Hunnes says. Those who eat a diet rich in omega-3 have a lower risk of heart disease, heart problems and heart-disease-related deaths, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The lignans in flaxseeds have also been tied to lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.

  1. They Have Protein, Which Supports Muscle Health. A big threat to older adults is the loss of muscle mass, strength and function. Sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss, occurs when the muscles start to atrophy or waste away, leading to poor balance and weakness. However, a combination of exercise and a muscle-supporting diet may help. Protein is a crucial nutrient for fighting the natural loss of muscle that occurs over time. Seniors may need more protein in their diets to preserve and increase muscle mass. Flaxseeds consist of up to 30 percent protein, and two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds has 2.6 grams of protein, or about 6 percent of your Daily Value (DV), according to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Reference: Livestrong (Sep. 26, 2022) “Want to Age Well? Add a Spoon of This to Your Daily Diet”


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Why Is Movie Star Chris Hemsworth More Likely to Develop Alzheimer’s Disease?

While working on his new docuseries, National Geographic’s Limitless with Chris Hemsworth, the 39-year-old had genetic testing and discovered that he has a greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

People’s recent article, entitled “Chris Hemsworth Learned He Has a Greater Chance of Getting Alzheimer’s Disease: ‘It Was Pretty Shocking’,” says the series features Hemsworth pushing his body’s limits to beat stress, maximize performance and fight back aging. In the fifth episode, “Memory,” a physician informs that star that he has two copies of the gene APOE4. The gene is linked to an increased risk of the disease, the actor revealed in an interview with Vanity Fair.

“They took all my bloodwork and did a bunch of tests, and the plan was to on-camera tell me all the results and then talk about how you can improve this and that,” Hemsworth told the outlet.

“And Peter Attia, who is the longevity doctor in that episode, and overseeing a lot of the show, called [show creator] Darren [Aronofsky] and said, ‘I don’t want to tell him this on camera. We need to have an off-side conversation and see if he even wants this to be in the show.’ It was pretty shocking because he called me up and he told me.”

The tests showed that the star of Thor and Extraction is eight to 10 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s in the future.

“The show, which initially was an exploration of longevity and, of course, should be fun, became even more relevant and important for me, even more poignant than I ever thought it would be,” Hemsworth told Vanity Fair. “It was a really good catalyst to dive into everything I needed to be doing in either the prevention front or the management front or however you want to classify it. It’s not a pre-deterministic gene, but it is a strong indication.”

Hemsworth’s grandfather also has Alzheimer’s, so learning about his own genes wasn’t a total surprise.

“My concern was I just didn’t want to manipulate it and overdramatize it and make it into some sort of hokey grab at empathy, or whatever, for entertainment,” said Chris Hemsworth, who shares twin sons Sasha and Tristan, 8, and daughter India, 10, with wife Elsa Pataky. “It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation.”

Hemsworth took it as an opportunity to make positive changes. His recent health news only reinforced the importance of keeping it up.

“If you look at Alzheimer’s prevention, the benefit of preventative steps is that it affects the rest of your life. When you have predisposition to cardiovascular heart disease, cancer, anything—it’s all about sleep management, stress management, nutrition, movement, fitness. It’s all kind of the same tools that need to be applied in a consistent way.”

Reference: People (Nov. 17, 2022) “Chris Hemsworth Learned He Has a Greater Chance of Getting Alzheimer’s Disease: ‘It Was Pretty Shocking’”


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What’s an Annuity ?

An annuity is a contract between an investor and a life insurance company. The purchaser of an annuity pays a lump-sum or several installments to the insurer, which then provides a guaranteed income for a certain period—or until their death.

Forbes’ recent article entitled “What Is A Joint And Survivor Annuity?” says that understanding an “annuitant” is key to understanding how a joint and survivor annuity works. An annuitant may be either the buyer or owner of an annuity or someone who’s been selected to get the payouts. A joint and survivor contract typically benefits joint annuitants: a primary annuitant and a secondary annuitant. Under this policy, both get income payments during the lifetimes of both the owner and their survivor.

With joint life contract, you can expect payments throughout the lifetime of the primary annuitant. If that person passes away, the survivor—the other annuitant—receives payouts that are the same as or less than what the original annuitant received. However, if the secondary annuitant dies ahead of the primary annuitant, survivor benefits aren’t paid when the primary annuity dies. The contract buyer can designate themself and another person, like their spouse, as joint annuitants.

A joint and survivor annuity differs from a single life annuity in a few ways:

  • A single-life benefits only the owner, so income payouts cease when that person dies; and
  • A single-life usually pays out less than a joint and survivor annuity, since a single-life contract covers just one life, while a joint and survivor covers two.

Under some joint and survivor annuities, the amount of the payout is decreased after the death of the primary annuitant. The terms of any decrease are set out in the contract.

The payout to a surviving secondary annuitant, generally a spouse or domestic partner, ranges from 50% to 100% of the amount paid during the primary annuitant’s life, if the contract was bought through certain tax-qualified retirement plans.

Ask these three questions before setting up a joint and survivor annuity:

  • How much in payout is needed for both annuitants to support themselves?
  • Do you have other assets (like a life insurance policy) to help the surviving joint annuitant after one of the annuitants dies?
  • How much would the payouts be lessened after the death of a joint annuitant?

Remember that you usually can’t change the survivor named in a joint and survivor annuity.

Reference: Forbes (Dec. 19, 2022) “What Is A Joint And Survivor Annuity?”


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What Did Kirstie Alley Do for Estate Planning?

Radar’s recent article, entitled “Kirstie Alley Left Behind $40 Million Fortune & Massive Real Estate Portfolio Following Her Death At 71,” reports that the actress had several starring roles that afforded her a luxurious lifestyle, including on Cheers and the Look Who’s Talking franchise.

She also became a regular fixture on reality TV, making appearances on Kirstie Alley’s Big Life, Celebrity Big Brother, Dancing With the Stars and The Masked Singer.

In addition to her significant net worth, she had a mansion in Wichita, Kansas.

In addition, Alley posted about building her dream farmhouse on two acres of land in Clearwater, Florida, back in 2020.

“The bulk of her estate will go to her kids, then the rest to charities,” said an insider.

The farmhouse was incomplete at the time of her passing.

“Hi!! been so busy remodeling that I’ve been MIA … 🙂 windows installed this week.. exciting as there is such a shortage,” she tweeted on October 27, just weeks before her death.

Alley previously gave her 1.5 million followers a sneak peek at the property being built from the ground up in August 2021.

The Drop Dead Gorgeous star reportedly also still maintained another six-bedroom, 11-bathroom waterfront Clearwater property she purchased in 2008 for $1.8 million. Alley sold her longtime home in California for $7.8 million in 2021.

After the news of her death after a brief battle with colon cancer, RadarOnline.com found out the Church of Scientology held a memorial for their longtime member.

Alley’s children, William and Lillie Parker, announced that she died on December 5: “We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered,” they said in a statement.

“She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead,” they continued. “As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”

Reference: Radar  (Dec. 12, 2022) “Kirstie Alley Left Behind $40 Million Fortune & Massive Real Estate Portfolio Following Her Death At 71”


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Are Flavonols Good for My Brain?

Researchers found that total flavonol intake was linked to a lower decline in global cognition, according to Thomas Monroe Holland, MD, MS, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and co-authors.

MedPage Today’s recent article entitled “Flavonols Linked to Slower Cognitive Decline” says that slower declines in episodic, semantic and working memory also were tied to overall flavonol intake. Associations were independent of cardiovascular conditions and lifestyle factors, the researchers reported in the medical journal, Neurology.

The findings suggest specific diet choices may result in a slower rate of cognitive decline. “Something as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more tea is an easy way for people to take an active role in maintaining their brain health,” Holland said in a statement.

Flavonols are a type of flavonoid, a group of phytochemicals found in plant pigments. Earlier research has shown that high flavonol intake was connected to lower risk of Alzheimer’s dementia.

The mechanisms behind these relationships aren’t fully understood, the researchers acknowledged. However, the anti-inflammatory features of flavonols may lessen the amplitude or duration of neuroinflammation, Holland and his team suggested. The antioxidant characteristics of flavanols may also prevent or reduce oxidative stress from reactive oxygen species and free radicals.

In this study, Holland and his team evaluated 961 people with no dementia at baseline who participated in the Rush Memory and Aging Project, an ongoing community-based, prospective cohort. Participants were followed for 6.9 years. The sample was predominantly female (75%), white (98%),and had an average educational level of 15 years and a mean baseline age of about 81. Overall, 22% carried at least one APOE4 allele (a risk factor for susceptibility to coronary artery disease (CAD) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)), and 42% reported a history of smoking.

The researchers looked at diet using a food frequency questionnaire and measured cognitive performance annually with about 20 standardized tests. They adjusted findings for age, sex, education, APOE4, late-life cognitive activity, physical activity and smoking.

The study examined both total flavonol intake and intake of four constituents — kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin, and isorhamnetin. Kale, beans, tea, spinach, and broccoli were top food contributors for the natural flavonol kaempferol in the study. Tomatoes, kale, apples, and tea were main contributors for quercetin; tea, wine, kale, oranges, and tomatoes for myricetin; and pears, olive oil, wine, and tomato sauce for isorhamnetin, another flavanol.

Holland and colleagues noted that the study has several limitations, such as the fact that the sample population was white, highly educated and from the Midwest. In addition, dietary intake was recorded by self-reported food frequency questionnaires.

Reference: MedPage Today (Nov. 23, 2022) “Flavonols Linked to Slower Cognitive Decline”


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