Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.

Jerry Lewis owned everything in his movies and they are in a trust.

Jerry Lewis, who passed away recently, was one of the most famous entertainers in history. However, he may have left behind a relatively small estate and a clue may be an old real estate transaction, according to Wealth Advisor in “Jerry Lewis May Leave Shockingly Modest Estate Behind.”

Lewis purchased his Las Vegas home through a family trust. However, in 2002 he did something very unusual.

Lewis and his wife purchased the home from the trust.

It is not a particularly lavish home by celebrity standards. It is probably worth less than a $1 million. There does not appear to have been any estate tax reason for the transfer.

There are two possible explanations.

The purchase might have been made to wind down the trust. It also could have been made to cover the costs of transferring the rights to his movies to the trust.

It means that it is not clear who now really owns the movie rights and what restrictions, if any, have been placed on how those rights can be handled.

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