Battle Over Fawcett’s Living Revocable Trust and Her $30M Warhol Painting is Final, Reports UltraTrust.com

UltraTrust.com reports on the final fight over a painting by Andy Warhol of Farrah Fawcett. Jury rules portrait will continue to be in the possession of Ryan O’Neal.

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Ill Estate Planning and poor asset protection planning is the cause of the battle over Warhol’s $30M Farrah Fawcett Painting

Charlie's Angel's Star and Sex Symbol Fires at her Estate planning Lawyer

If there is an O’Neal Trust in existence, then I would highly advise that he include the Warhol portrait as tangible personal property and insure it to protect this valuable asset.

Boston, MA (PRWEB) December 30, 2013

UltraTrust.com, a website on advanced estate and trust planning, owned by Estate Street Partners, recently released its financial investigative report of the jury’s decision on Thursday December 19, 2013 (3) that allows Ryan O’Neal to keep one of the Warhol portraits of Farrah Fawcett. UltraTrust.com discusses legal principles of ownership, possession, and personal property of this case.

“Possession is nine-tenths of the law,” states matter of factly, Rocco Beatrice, managing director for Estate Street Partners.

"This adage, which is often associated with the Hatfield – McCoy legal battle of the late 19th century, was recently applied by the jury in the case of University of Texas v. Ryan O’Neal, Case No. BC468468, in the Superior Court of the State of California."

At the center of this legal dispute, as outlined in the court documents, was a valuable objet d'art, a portrait of the late Farrah Fawcett by late American Pop Art master Andy Warhol.

According to a court records, Fawcett was introduced to Warhol by her on-off boyfriend of 30 years, Ryan O'Neal, in or around 1980, and the painter resolved to immortalize her beguiling visage on two portraits. O’Neal claims one was apparently given to her and the other to himself.

The two Warhols, where one of them has been valued at approximately $30 million as noted by BBC (1).

The University’s counsel, David Beck, declared in the the court papers that Fawcett deposited both paintings into the Fawcett Living Trust. Her trust bequeathed her art collection to her alma mater the University of Texas Austin (“UT”). The Board of Regents of the University, however, only received one of the Warhols from the trustee.

According to the Dallas Morning News (6), the University’s regents became aware of the existence of a twin Warhol portrait when a former Fawcett “secret” boyfriend came forward and explained that two portraits had been created. The University hired a private investigator, but the regents' investigation was conclusive after they saw a reality television show starring O'Neal called “Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals” that proved the existence of the other Warhol: It was hanging on the bedroom wall of the actor's Malibu home.

The University sued O'Neal on the basis that the Warhol was part of the Fawcett Living Trust. Upon examination of court documents, UltraTrust.com holds that the Fawcett Living Trust was not specific as to the objects in the art collection bequeathed.

UltraTrust.com asserts the Fawcett Living Trust was challenged insofar as the nature of the assets, but the structure and intent was intact. It is clear that the late Charlie's Angels star left all the artworks in her living trust to the University; thus, the case went from probate to a challenge of possession and ownership concludes the UltraTrust.com statement.

UltraTrust.com does not believe that the asset protection feature of the Fawcett Living Trust has been breached. Getting a court order to enforce the terms of the trust and compel O'Neal to turn over the Warhol to the University could have been easier if sufficient documentation of ownership had been included in the trust.

In the end, according to court documents, it came down to a jury trial and deliberation of ownership. Several witnesses were called up. Jaclyn Smith, 68, Fawcett’s former co-star on “Charlie’s Angels”, Redmond O’Neal, 28, son of Ryan and Farrah, as well as Maribel Avila, nurse to Fawcett came to testify.

These witnesses all testified in favor of Ryan O’Neal. As reported on CNBC.com, Jaclyn Smith was quoted from the TODAY show (5), "I really feel Farrah would want that portrait with Ryan." After the juror’s decision, Redmond on the TODAY show felt that his mom “up there” had something to do with the outcome of the decision.

According to court documents, the University’s appeal to the jurors failed to turn the jury’s decision. During the trial, they presented to the jurors Fawcett’s reality TV show when she herself stated she was contemplating on whether to sell one of the Warhol portraits when both were in her possession at the time of the filming.

The University also cited documents, according to the courts documents, signed by Fawcett allowing the portraits to be displayed at the Andy Warhol Museum and stated she owned the portraits.

However, the UltraTrust.com believes the fact that O'Neal has been in possession of one of the Warhols was not lost on the jury. UltraTrust.com continues in its report that though Fawcett did enjoy both Warhols at some point in her life, there was an absence of clear and compelling testimony to indicate that she did not intend to share one Warhol with O'Neal.

The aforementioned witnesses presumed O'Neal to be the rightful owner, and the jury agreed.

UltraTrust.com, in its financial statement, points out that the Warhol portrait hanging in his bedroom has probably appreciated in value due to this public court case.

“If there is an O’Neal Trust in existence, then I would highly advise that he include the Warhol portrait as tangible personal property and insure it to protect this valuable asset,” counsels Mr. Beatrice.

“I would further strongly instruct the creation of an O’Neal Irrevocable Trust as opposed to a Living Revocable Trust. There is a vast difference between the two forms of trust.”

UltraTrust.com affirms there is one less major thing O’Neal has to concern himself with.

“He [Ryan O’Neal] does not have to worry too much about future ownership challenges; after all, he now has a solid common law precedent to rely on.”

About Estate Street Partners:
Estate Street Partners (UltraTrust.com) are dedicated to offering plans for superior asset protection and elimination of estate taxes and probate through the Premium Ultra Trust Irrevocable Trust. Learn also more about: DIY irrevocable trust plan.

Sources and additional information on the release:
1) bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-14098635 - 7/10/11
2) webmd.com/cancer/news/20090623/farrah-fawcett-obit - 6/25/09
3) cnbc.com/id/101289089 12/19/13
4) imdb.com/name/nm0000646/bio 11/16/11
5) today.com/video/today/53723320/#53723320 - 12/3/13
6) http://res.dallasnews.com/interactives/2013_November/farrahwarhol/#.Ur552fRDuZg 11/12/13

Court Documents:
7) press-releases.ultratrust.com/attachments/Oct_18_2013_University_of_Texas_v_Ryan_ONeal_Farrah_Fawcett_02.pdf - 10/11/13
8)
press-releases.ultratrust.com/attachments/Nov_21_2013_University_of_Texas_v_Ryan_ONeal_Farrah_Fawcett_02.pdf - 11/21/131)

Additional Information:
today.com/video/today/53540822#53622098 - 11/13/13
content.usatoday.com/communities/entertainment/post/2011/07/university-of-texas-battles-ryan-oneal-over-farrah-fawcett-art/1#.UpT-8701JNc - 7/11/11

content.usatoday.com/communities/entertainment/post/2011/07/university-of-texas-battles-ryan-oneal-over-farrah-fawcett-art/1#.UpT-8701JNc - 7/11/11
edition.cnn.com/2013/12/03/showbiz/oneal-warhol-fawcett-trial/ - 12/3/13