What Dead Celebrities Can Teach Us About Estate Planning

Date: Thursday, April 18, 2019
Time: 11:30am - 1:00pm
Location: Minnehaha Country Club
Speaker: John J Scroggins

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It is intriguing how estate planning mistakes are often replicated and exaggerated in celebrity estates. This presentation discusses the mistakes in the estate planning of a number of celebrities and provides practical insights on how these mistakes illustrate ways that you can improve your average client’s estate planning. A few examples:

  1. Robin Williams and conflicts over personal property
  2. Chris Benoit, intestacy and how order of death matters
  3. Leona Helmsley and ruling from the grave with a CRUT
  4. Sumner Redstone and properly planning for incapacity
  5. Joan Rivers and why designation of Domicile matters
  6. Michael Jackson and the taxable value of an inheritable post-death Persona
  7. Prince and the potential inheritance by a child he never knew


Registration will close at 5 pm on Monday, April 15th.  Please register if you will attend to ensure we have an accurate lunch count.  Thank you!


About the Speaker:

Mr. Scroggin has been married for 39 years to Lynn and they have three children and four grandchildren. His oldest son is a professional blacksmith, his daughter worked as a development director in a number of Atlanta based charities and his youngest son is an Iraq war veteran.


Mr. Scroggin has practiced as a business, tax and estate planning attorney in Atlanta for 39 years. His practice is devoted to tax planning, estate planning, business representations, business succession and sales of businesses. He is co-creator of the “Family Incentive Trust” and creator of the “The Family Love Letter.” He is known for his ability to convert complex, technical information into practical, useable forms. He also hopes he is not as pompous as this bio would seem to indicate.


Since 1995 Jeff has practiced out of an 1889 house in the heart of the historic district of Roswell, Georgia – one of the few areas that was not destroyed during the 1864 Battle for Atlanta. In 1996 the house was awarded the city’s Historic Preservation Award. The house contains one of the largest collections of IRS and tax memorabilia in the US. The collection of over 100,000 items was featured in a front-page article in Wall Street Journal on April 15, 2015 – a suitable day for such an article.


Since 2012, Jeff has served as a Member of the University of Florida Levin College of Law Board of Trustees. Mr. Scroggin received the following degrees from the University of Florida: B.S.B.A. (Accounting), 1974; Juris Doctorate, 1977; Master of Laws in Taxation (LL.M.), 1979. Mr. Scroggin has taught tax law at the University of Florida College of Law and College of Business (where he was an Adjunct Professor of Tax Law). He was a CPA with Arthur Andersen’s nationwide estate planning group. Since its creation in 2012, he has served as a Founding Board member of the Florida Tax Institute.


In November 2017, Jeff was inducted into the NAEPC Estate Planning Hall of Fame, becoming its 105th inductee. US News & World Report named him as one of the 2018 Best Lawyers in America. He is rated “AV” by Martindale Hubbell (since 1990) and has been named in Atlanta magazine as a Georgia “Super-Lawyer” for the last ten years.  


Mr. Scroggin was Founding Editor-in-Chief of the NAEPC Journal of Estate and Tax Planning from 2006-2010 and was Co-Editor of Commerce Clearing House’s Journal of Practical Estate Planning from 2004-2006.. Jeff has authored over 260 articles, whitepapers and books. He was Co-Editor of CCH’s Journal of Practical Estate Planning from 2004 to 2006. The central focus of most of Jeff’s writings and speaking is on the practical applications, traps and planning opportunities with regard to tax and estate planning and/or predictions and practical implications of evolving trends within the tax, business and estate planning communities.

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