April 21, 2009 |
The Austrian city of Linz has acted to return a masterpiece by Gustav Klimt to the heirs of a Jewish woman killed by Nazis in the Holocaust. Mayor Franz Dobusch has recommended the painting of a woman, believed to be worth about $19 million, be transferred from Lentos art gallery to the descendants of Aranka Munk, the city said. The city cited the findings of an independent expert, Sophie Lillie, who confirmed the painting had been seized from Munk by the Nazis after she was deported to a concentration camp where she died in 1941.
December 22, 1985
With multimillionaires moving their families to other countries, Swedes are reconsidering the structure of inheritance taxes that can run as high as 70%. An announcement by the 34-year-old billionaire industrialist Fredrik Lundberg that he was moving to Switzerland set off debate in the country about the tax on inheritances. "It's my and my family's wish to secure the control of the company within the family in case I die," Lundberg was quoted as saying in a newspaper interview.
June 23, 1989 |
A dog named Master Teddy who inherited his owner's $102,000 house and fought off her relatives in a courtroom wrangle won another legal round today--this time to save his hide from the tattooer's needle. When Celeste V. Crawford died in 1984, her will said Teddy could live in her Silver Spring home for the rest of his life, with a friend of hers allowed to live there to look after the dog. Her relatives first went to court because they did not want to wait for the 13-year-old dog's death, but a judge ruled they cannot inherit and divvy up proceeds from the house's sale until Teddy dies.
December 18, 2009
The old saw about the only certainties in life being death and taxes isn't quite right: We'll also always be arguing about the taxation of death. Because of squabbling in the Senate over the estate tax -- one of the nation's most controversial levies -- taxes will rise for thousands of middle-class heirs while falling for a small number of the very wealthy. The troubles began with reforms approved by the Republican-dominated Congress in 2001, which led to a gradual decrease in estate taxes.
March 4, 2014 |
We were just settling in the other evening for some utterly inoffensive television viewing (reruns of "The Big Bang Theory," if memory serves) when our living room was invaded by a zombie. Yes, it was Audrey Hepburn, dead these 21 years, digitally dug up from the grave and reanimated to shill for Dove chocolates . You may already have seen this commercial, which began running on Oscars night and is now moving into wider rotation. (Check it out at the bottom of this post.) Dove and the commercial producers are inordinately proud of their achievement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 2013 |
Agent Roger Richman had a ton of celebrity clients - James Cagney, Mae West, Maria Callas, Albert Einstein, the Marx brothers, Sigmund Freud, Gypsy Rose Lee and W.C. Fields, to name a few. Contrary to expectations, none of them were overly demanding. "I don't have people calling me in the middle of the night saying there aren't enough red M&Ms in the Green Room," he told The Times in a 2001 interview. The reason was simple: By the time he began advocating for them, they were long dead.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 28, 2009 |
Dozens of men and women surrounded the auctioneer, yellow bid cards in hand, whispering and vying for a glimpse of the latest lot for sale. They were bidding on the unclaimed belongings of the dead, each tagged with the name of its former owner. A 200-year-old German violin that belonged to a man named Leon David Cislin rested in a case of crushed red velvet. Hundreds of Hallmark Christmas ornaments once owned by a Thomas Young, many in unopened packaging, filled several tables.
July 14, 2010 |
In his July 6 Op-Ed, law professor Ray D. Madoff made a case for the estate tax, claiming that it promoted tax fairness and economic growth. Madoff is wrong on both counts. The estate tax violates common principles of justice and stifles economic growth. Congress should permanently lock in this year's special moratorium on the estate tax. One standard argument against the estate tax is that the wealth of the estate was already taxed (perhaps several times over) while being accumulated.