Liz Hurley’s Rich Son | Damian Hurley’s Inheritance
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Liz Hurley’s Rich Son | Damian Hurley’s Inheritance

This is Mike Hackard from Hackard Law in Sacramento,
California. Estate taxes can easily eat up large percentages
of a person’s assets, which is why the strategy of creating an irrevocable trust to transfer
wealth from one generation to another is often a good idea. Here at Hackard Law, we often recommend the
establishment of irrevocable trusts when we think it will be to the long-term benefit
of our clients. But like all such estate planning tools, there
are pluses and minuses. Consider the case of Dr. Peter Bing, a doctor
and philanthropist in Los Angeles who inherited a fortune from his father, Leo Bing, a hugely
successful New York City real estate developer in the 1920s. By some accounts, Peter inherited a billion
dollars from his father, and Peter’s son, Stephen, inherited $600 Million when he turned
18 years old in 1983. Peter Bing surely had in mind the preservation
of his inherited wealth when he established an irrevocable family trust in 1980 that transferred
assets from his personal fortune to the benefit of his yet unborn grandchildren. In that document, he states that any grandchild
must be “raised by my children as part of their families” and that the trust “would
not benefit any person brought out of wedlock unless that person had lived for a substantial
period of time as a regular member of the household.” This might have been a completely academic
clause in an otherwise boilerplate document, except that 21 years later Dr. Bing’s son
Steve had a brief relationship with the actress Liz Hurley, the result of which was that Liz
gave birth to a son, Damian. Steve Bing also had a second child born out
of wedlock, Kira Kerkorian, whose mother was the pro tennis player Lisa Bonder. Though Bonder was briefly married to the billionaire
Kirk Kerkorian, Steve Bing proved to be the actual father of Kira. It was Kira Kerkorian, four years older than
Damian, who first raised the issue of being a beneficiary of her grandfather’s trust. Once she claimed a portion of that trust,
Damian followed with his own demand. From the very start, Peter Bing tried his
best to bar both his biological grandchildren from receiving any portion of his trust because
he “never met” them. In his words: “Regardless of whether, when
and if Stephen met with or had any relationship with Damian or Kira while they are or were
minor because neither was raised by him during their formative years l do not consider them
my grandchildren.” A judge in Los Angeles disagreed. Last week it was the ruling of a Court that
both Damian and Kira are rightful heirs, and are therefore entitled to access the family
trust. None of us can predict the future, so when
it comes to creating irrevocable trusts, as this case clearly shows, it is important that
the language be highly specific to the wishes of the trust maker. If Dr. Bing wanted to make sure that any grandchildren
born out of wedlock were excluded, his lawyers could certainly have crafted more precise
language. Most likely, back in 1980, the scenario that
eventually played out never occurred to him or them. Lesson learned. Before you go, please let me know if you’d
like to receive a free copy of my first book, The Wolf at the Door, or my new book, Alzheimer’s,
Widowed Stepmothers & Estate Crimes. Just send your address in an email to me at
[email protected], and I’ll be glad to put one in the mail. I’m Mike Hackard from Hackard Law. Thanks for watching.

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