Ray Charles Jr., whose father died in 2004, is still dealing with issues related to his famous father's death, but in many ways the problems involve the same type of issues any client might have to face.

He will talk about the estate issues, some of which are still not settled, that have affected him and his 11 siblings on a PBS special airing during pledge break starting Nov. 20 and running through mid-December entitled Trial and Heirs: Protect Your Family Fortune.  The show is an extension of the book Trial and Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! by Danielle and Andrew Mayoras, reported on in May in FA News.

The television special, which the Mayoras wrote and host, and the book use the estate tribulations of famous people to warn people ad financial advisors about what can happen without proper forethought and planning.

For instance, Sonny Bono had an alleged love child who muddled the estate distribution. Others, such as Marlon Brando, James Brown and Heath Ledger were lax in their planning and left behind problems for their heirs to straighten out. The Mayoras use the celebrity cases to show how the problems of celebrities can relate to other people and their advisors.

"Television translates things slightly differently than a book and many people do not have time to read, so we are bringing them this message in another entertaining and conversational format," says Danielle Mayoras.

The schedule for the PBS show can be found at www.trialandheirs.com/tv-special. It has aired regionally in Michigan, where the couple's law firm Barron, Rosenberg, Mayoras & Mayoras P.C. is located.  Danielle s a specialist in estate planning and education and Andrew is a specialist in probate law and litigation.

Since the hour-and-a-half television production is connected with the PBS pledge break, bonus items are to be given away with donations, include  such things as a DVD that elaborates on the Ray Charles Jr. interview.

The DVD also addresses financial advisors on what they can do to prevent or mitigate family disputes. Segments on special needs heirs, joint ownership issues, what happens after the funeral, how to find a good attorney and estate planning are also included.

"The television special and the book are designed to help advisors start the conversation about estates and wills, which are sometimes hard to approach," says Andrew.

-Karen Demasters