Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 8, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 7


Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 8, 2020 



The YWCA Pasadena-
Foothill Valley is proud 
to announce that Janelle 
Wellons has been voted 
Vice President of its 
Board of Directors. 
Ms. Wellons has served 
as the chair of the 
program committee 
since joining the board 
in 2019.

“ I am honored to be 
appointed the next 
Vice President of the 
YWCA Pasadena’s 
Board of Directors,” 
said Wellons. “I 
cannot wait to become 
more involved in 
sourcing support and 
introducing activities 
to build an environment to empower our girls and 
inspire them to explore fields where they are traditionally 
underrepresented. “

Wellons graduated from MIT with a B.S. in Aerospace 
Engineering and is currently an instrument operations 
engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She has 
worked on missions such as the Lunar Reconnaissance 
Orbiter, the earth-observing Multi-Angle Imager for 
Aerosols, and the Cassini mission.

The YWCA’s Board Vice President is responsible for 
performing the duties of President in her absence including 
presiding at all business meetings of the membership, and 
motivating others toward the fulfillment of the mission of 
the YWCA USA. 

In celebration of Women’s History Month (March 2020), 
Assemblymember Chris Holden's office is honoring outstanding 
women whose service has made a positive impact 
in our community.

One woman from each city in the 41st Assembly District 
will be recognized as a Woman of Distinc-tion at Assemblymember 
Holden’s District office Spring Open House.

Among those selected as Woman of Distinction, one woman 
will be honored in Sacramento as the 41st Assembly District’s 
Woman of the Year.

Categories include but not limited to:

• Arts

• Business

• Community Service

• Education

• Health Services

• Military

• Science and Technology

• Sports

• Under 30

Please submit your nominations at the following link:



As you no doubt already know, on January 26, 2020, 
basketball legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter 
crash on a wooded hillside 30 miles north of Los Angeles. 
Also killed in the tragic accident was his 13-year-old 
daughter Gianna, and seven other passengers who were 
friends and colleagues of Kobe and his family. Kobe’s 
survived by his wife Vanessa and three other daughters: 
Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months. The exact 
cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Kobe’s sudden death at age 41 has led to a huge 
outpouring of grief from fans across the world. Whenever 
someone so beloved dies so young, it highlights just 
how critical it is for every adult—but especially those 
with young children—to create an estate plan to ensure 
their loved ones are properly protected and provided 
for when they die or in the event of their incapacity. 
While it’s too early to know the exact details of Kobe’s 
estate plan (and he very well may have planning vehicles 
in place to keep the public from ever knowing the full 
details), we can still learn from the issues his family and 
estate are likely to face in the aftermath of his death. I’m 
covering these issues in hopes that it will inspire you to 
remember that life is not guaranteed, every day is a gift, 
and your loved ones are counting on you to do the right 
thing for them now. 

Kobe’s sports and business empire

Between his salary and endorsements during his 20-year 
career with the L.A. Lakers, Kobe earned an estimated 
$680 million. And that’s not counting the money he 
made from his numerous business ventures, licensing 
rights for his likeness, and extensive venture capital 
investments following his retirement from the NBA. 

Given his business acumen and length of time in the 
spotlight, it’s highly unlikely Kobe died without at least 
some planning in place to protect his assets and his family. 
But even if Kobe did have a plan, when someone so young, 
wealthy, and successful passes away this unexpectedly in 
such a terrible accident, his family and estate will almost 
certainly face some potential threats and complications.

For example, due to his extreme wealth, Kobe likely created 
trusts and other planning strategies to remove some of 
his assets from his estate in order to reduce his federal 
estate-tax liability. However, because he was so young and 
still actively involved in numerous business ventures, it’s 
quite unlikely that all—or even the majority—of his assets 
had been fully transferred into those protective planning 

And seeing that Kobe owned the helicopter and the 
weather at the time was poor (many other flights had 
already been grounded), there’s also the real potential 
that the families of those killed in the crash will file civil 
lawsuits against his estate. Regardless of how extensive 
Kobe’s estate plan is, it’s doubtful that the lawyers who 
drafted his plan considered 
the possibility of so many 
potential wrongful-death 

Here’s the bottom line: the 
post-death handling of Kobe’s affairs is surely going to 
be complicated. Though you almost certainly don’t have 
a Kobe-size estate to pass on, that makes it even more 
important for you to handle your planning—and really 
get it done right. Kobe’s family can afford years in court, 
lawyers upon lawyers, and a loss of some assets to taxes and 
lawsuits. Your family, on the other hand, probably cannot. 
Trusted support when it’s needed most

Since Kobe’s wife Vanessa survives him, and it’s been 
widely reported that they married without a prenuptial 
agreement, it’s most likely that she will inherit everything. 
And due to the “spousal exemption,” those assets will 
pass to her tax free. Yet despite the protection from 
estate taxes, if she does inherit everything directly, 
all the estate-planning, financial-planning, business-
management, and wealth-preservation responsibilities 
for Kobe’s immense fortune will now pass to Vanessa. 
That’s an overwhelming responsibility, especially while 
she’s mourning the loss of both her husband and child, 
as well as parenting three other daughters who’ve 
just lost their father and sister. Given the vast scope of 
Kobe’s estate, ongoing business ventures, and likelihood 
of lawsuits and other legal complications, Vanessa will 
need the advice and support of her trusted counsel now 
more than ever. And I do hope she has that support, 
and that it was established well before this point in time. 
Unfortunately, many estate planning firms do not engage 
with the whole family when creating estate plans and 
the associated legal documents, leaving the spouse and 
other family members largely out of the loop. Though 
we can’t know if this was the case with Kobe’s lawyers, 
such situations occur frequently enough that there’s a real 
possibility this could be true for Vanessa as well. 

Don’t let such a scenario be true for your family. There is 
immense value in not only getting your estate planning 
handled now, but also in accomplishing that with a 
family-centered law firm as your partner. 

Dedicated to empowering your family, 
building your wealth and defining your 
legacy,A local attorney and father, Marc 
Garlett is on a mission to help parents protect what they 
love most. His office is located at 55 Auburn Avenue, 
Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Schedule an appointment to 
sit down and talk about ensuring a legacy of love and 
financial security for yourfamily by calling 626.355.4000 
or visit for more information.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: