Tag Archives: Estate battle

Let’s Go Crazy: Prince Estate Enters New Fight Over Who Will Inherit His Millions

So much trouble caused by such a simple concept.  When you create a will, you decide who receives your assets after you die.  If you don’t, the laws of the state you live in determine it.  What happens when those laws aren’t too clear?  Chaos.  And the Prince estate is experiencing it in full force.  Prince estate

Maybe it’s fitting for the estate of the man who sang, “Let’s Go Crazy.”

Prince’s estate — reported to be worth as much as $300 million dollars before taxes — is tied up in the early stages of a long battle over who really are his heirs.  Still?  Didn’t the judge already resolve that months ago?

Originally, it appeared so.  Dozens of people came forward claiming to be Prince’s son, daughter, or other relative.  The DNA did not support them, and the judge denied their claims.  He determined that Prince’s full sister and five half-siblings all qualified as heirs.  He ordered the other two, a reported niece and grand-niece, to undergo DNA testing as well. Read more...

| Leave a comment

What’s Driving The B.B. King Estate Feud?

The late Riley B. King — better known as blues legend B.B. King — often said that the only woman in his life was his guitar, Lucille.  But that wasn’t exactly true.  King estimated that he had 15 children by 15 different women.  No wonder one of his biggest hits was called, When Love Comes To Town.

B.B. King EstateB.B. King took responsibility for his children.  According to CNN, he set up a multimillion dollar education fund for his descendants.  King wrote in his memoir that he assumed responsibility every time a woman came to him and said a child was his, without arguing about whether that was true or not.  One of his daughters, Patty King, said in a previous interview with Rolling Stone that B.B. King was a great dad who had “done well” by his children.

That same daughter is now leading the charge against B.B. King’s business manager of 39 years, LaVerne Toney.  Patty King and half-sister Karen Williams lead a panel of five King children, Read more...

| Leave a comment

Court Ruling Finally Allows Body of Late George Jefferson Star To “Move On Up”

One could only imagine what George Jefferson — the wise-cracking character who was “movin’ on up” on the 1970′s TV hit, The Jeffersons — would have said about this predicament.  The body of actor Sherman Hemsley, who played George Jefferson, has been kept on ice for the last 3 1/2 months.  His remains have been refrigerated since he passed away from lung cancer on July 24, 2012, at the age of 74.

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 23: Sherman Hemsley, September 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Why?  It’s all because a man claiming to be his half-brother challenged the validity of Hemsley’s will in court.  Hemsley’s will — created a mere 6 weeks before he died — left everything to his former business manager and close friend, Flora Enchinton.  Sherman Hemsley had no other family members alive.  Estate records show the value of his estate at around $50,000.

That’s not much money to fight over.  But that didn’t stop Richard Thornton from coming Read more...

| 2 Comments

Gary Coleman’s Estate: Court Rules Against His Ex, Finds She Abused And Cheated On Him

Gary Coleman's EstateBy all accounts, actor Gary Coleman had a difficult life after his days as the childhood star of Diff’rent Strokes.  He was estranged from his parents and died — nearly broke — at the age of 42.  While he was married at one time, he said in a TV interview that he remained a virgin, even after his marriage.  So what kind of marriage was it?

Not a very happy one, according to a Utah judge who recently issued a ruling to decide who gets to administer, and ultimately inherit, what little constitutes Gary Coleman’s Estate.  The lawsuit pitted Gary Coleman’s ex-wife, Shannon Price — who said she actually was still his wife until he died — against Coleman’s friend and former head of his corporation, Anna Gray.

Gary Coleman Estate Battle

In 2005, Gary Coleman signed a will naming Gray as his executor and beneficiary.  But Coleman married Price in 2007, and then signed a handwritten codicil to the will (“codicil” means amendment to a will) in Read more...

| Leave a comment

James Brown’s Estate Fight Still Rocking On

The battle over James Brown’s final wishes began very shortly after the Godfather of Soul passed away on Christmas Day of 2006. And it’s still going strong.

The probate judge approved a settlement among his heirs in 2009, seemingly ending the fight then. One-half of his estate was to pass to charity through a trust, and the other one-half divided between his widow and his children. You can read about the prior settlement here.

But don’t forget about his former manager! What does she have to do with anything? It seems that Jacquelyne Hollander believes she should have been involved in the settlement too. She didn’t like being left out.

Hollander had sued Brown for sexual assault when he was alive (but lost, because she waited too long to sue). Now she’s sued, multiple times, to stop the settlement. Her most-recent lawsuit is still going on in federal court in California.

Why did she sue? What could have been done to prevent all this fighting? What can you learn Read more...

| Leave a comment

New allegations of abuse filed in Melvin Simon estate fight

Melvin Simon was one of the richest men in the Midwest until he died last year, at age 82.  A co-owner of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, he built most of his fortune developing and owning shopping malls.  Melvin Simon estate have been estimated to be worth close to $2 billion.  That vast fortune is tied up in a nasty legal battle over his will and trust, as explained in this prior article of The Probate Lawyer BlogMelvin Simon estate

Like many second-marriage situations, the widow, Bren, does not get along with the Mel Simon’s children from a prior marriage (to say the least!).  And they aren’t too fond of Bren either.  The children, led by daughter Deborah, sued because Simon signed new estate planning documents seven months before he died, raising Bren’s inheritance from one-third up to one-half, at the expense of the children.

Why did the kids challenge this (other than the obvious)?  For one, they claim Mel was so sick from cancer, dementia and neurological disorders that he couldn’t

Read more...
| Leave a comment

The crazy claims of the Michael Jackson Estate

Given MJ’s eccentricities in life, and the craziness that has surrounded Michael Jackson estate since he died, it is no surprise that Michael Jackson’s estate executors are busy denying wild claims left and right. 

TMZ has a list of the wackiest ones:

  • Jose Freddie Vallejos asked for $3.3 million to reimburse Los Angeles for the costs of the King of Pop’s memorial service.
  • A homeschooler, Claire McMillan, is seeking $2 million.
  • Michael, according to Nona Paris Lola Ankhesenamun Jackson (try saying that three times fast), was actually married to her, so Nona of course wants custody of the three kids.
  • Richard Lapointe claimed he’s owed $5 million for a memorabilia auction that was wrongly canceled.
  • And, best of all, a woman is convinced that Jackson wiretapped her telephone and had organized criminals watch her.  She wants a mere $50 million.

You can read TMZ’s coverage of these claims, which were all formally denied last week by Howard Weitzman, the estate’s attorney.  This means the claimants now have to initial

Read more...
| Leave a comment

MLK family fight heading to trial

A few months ago I blogged about the court battle between the three surviving children of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Well the case has only gotten uglier as it’s progressed.Martin_Luther_King_Jr 2a

Yesterday, the attorneys were in court because Dexter King — the one in control of the King Estate — filed a motion asking the judge to dismiss the case against him.  The judge refused, paving the way for a full jury trial on the claim that he breached his fiduciary duty against his two siblings.

Dexter’s brother and sister believe he withheld financial records, engaged in self-dealing and cut them out of important negotiations affecting the estate and corporation they own to manage their famous father’s legacy.  Dexter, in turn, counter-sued his sister demanding that she turn over to him a set of love letters between their father and mother as well as MLK’s Nobel Peace Prize.  The judge ordered that the documents be given to him to hold until the case is resolved.

The judge also required Dexter

Read more...
| Leave a comment