Tag Archives: Probate Court

Urooj Khan: Unsolved Murder of Chicago Lottery Winner Sparks Family Feud

Chicago businessman Urooj Khan jumped for joy when he learned he had the winning numbers for a million-dollar lottery drawing last summer.  Too bad he never had a chance to enjoy it.  He was murdered days before he was going to receive the $425,000 lump-sum, after-tax winnings.

Originally, the 46-year-old’s death was ruled natural, due to hardening of the arteries.  Later a family member — unidentified so far — raised suspicions with the police that led to testing blood and tissue samples.  The results came back positive for cyanide.  Police reclassified the death as a homicide.

Khan’s body was recently exhumed, several months after he was originally buried, so more testing could be done to help police learn more about his cause of death.  So far, they haven’t named a suspect.  However, Khan’s brother isn’t waiting for the police to do so.  He’s already spoken out.

Urooj Khan lottery local news video

Urooj Khan’s brother, Imtiaz Khan, told the Chicago Sun-Times that he has suspicions about who poisoned the lottery Read more...

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Jenni Rivera’s Estate Heading For Turmoil

Jenni Rivera was a singer-songwriter, actress and Telemundo TV star who died tragically Jenni Rivera Estateon December 9, 2012 in a plane crash in Mexico.  While well-known to fans of Latino music and Mexican TV, Rivera appeared poised to breakthrough to mainstream America due to a new TV show she was set to star in for ABC.

The 43-year old Rivera lived a turbulent life.  She had her first child at age 15 and then married the father.  They had two more children together, but it was a marriage of abuse and molestation.  After the divorce, Rivera’s first husband was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in jail for child molestation.

Rivera married twice more and had two more children from her second marriage.  Her third marriage, to professional baseball player Esteban Loaiza, also was ending.  The couple filed for divorce on October 1, 2012, citing irreconcilable differences.   There was a report that Rivera and her eldest daughter had been fighting because the daughter had an affair with Loaiza, but it’s a Read more...

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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.

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 forward and making the claim, which forced Hemsley’s body into legal limbo.  Thornton asserted he should be the one to make Read more...

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Monkey Business Surrounding Davy Jones Estate

After The Monkees frontman, Davy Jones, died of a heart attack at age 66 on February 29, 2012, his family took the very unusual step of having Davy Jones Will and related probate court documents sealed — perhaps to shield family disharmony from public view.  davy jones estate

Wills, unlike living trusts, are public court documents and generally available for the public to read.  Because of this, you can find hundreds of celebrity wills online through simple internet searches (and it sure helped us write our book, Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights!).

Davy’s family, led by his oldest daughter, Talia Jones — who has been named as the personal representative to administer the Davy Jones Estate — asked the Judge to seal the file.  The request, according to this gossip website that obtained a copy of it, argued that the court should deny public access to his “planning documents and financial affairs as public opinion could have a material effect on his copyrights, royalties and ongoing goodwill.”  The request was granted, Read more...

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Thomas Kinkade Will: Did Artist Change His Will While Drunk?

It’s estimated that one in twenty American homes have a Thomas Kinkade painting hanging on the walls.  The self-named “Painter of Light” turned his gift of rendering landscapes and other words of art into a tremendous commercial endeavor.  In fact, his numerous corporate holdings reportedly topped $100 million in annual sales some years, primarily due to mass reproduction of his works.

But the Painter of Light was not without his demons, primarily alcoholism and a failed marriage.  He died suddenly at age 54 caused by “acute intoxication” from alcohol and Valium, on April 6, 2012.  His wife, Nanette, had filed for divorce two years before, and the couple was legally separated.  Kinkade died while living with his girlfriend of 18 months, Amy Pinto-Walsh.

The girlfriend and estranged wife began fighting almost immediately after Kinkade passed.  Pinto-Walsh was kept from the funeral and slapped with a lawsuit for breach of a confidentiality agreement.  The family wanted her to remain quiet and not share any personal details with the media.

Pinto-Walsh did Read more...

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The Anna Nicole Smith Case Finally Ends

No, it can’t be … has the 15-year saga started by Anna Nicole Smith, as she tried to get money from the estate of her deceased husband, really come to an end? The court battle involved the fortune owned by the late J. Howard Marshall, II, who was a 90-year-old Texas oil billionaire before he passed away in 1995.

The case started in Texas probate court, moved to bankruptcy court in California, traveled up and down the federal court system through numerous appeals, hearings, and even two trips to the United States Supreme Court.

The case survived the death of both people who were fighting — Anna Nicole Smith and her step-son (who was 27 years older than she was). But the case is alive no more. Anna Nicole’s quest for a bequest has failed.

That’s right, apparently love doesn’t conquer all. We all know that Anna Nicole must have been deeply in love with Howard Marshall (whom she met while stripping) despite their age difference of more than 60 Read more...

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Gary Coleman’s Ashes Sit While his Ex-Wife Fights his Estate

Shannon Price and Gary Coleman enjoyed a brief, but love-filled marriage until they divorced in 2008. How do we know it was so loving? Because, according to Price, they remained together as common-law husband and wife, even after they divorced.

That’s right, she says they lived together, enjoyed marital relations, and considered themselves to be a married couple until Coleman passed away at age 42 on May 28, 2010. Utah is one of the few states that permits common-law marriages.

And whether they truly were a common-law married couple is the focus of the estate fight currently brewing now. It doesn’t make much sense for a couple to get divorced, as Coleman and Price did, but then become a common-law married couple.

Perhaps that’s why the estate fight has dragged on so long. Price’s spokesperson said that she’s battling in part to be able to receive Coleman’s ashes so she can properly lay them to rest … that is, she wants to lay most of them to rest.

She wants Read more...

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Will of John Edwards’ wife revealed

Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former Vice-President Candidate John Edwards, passed away from cancer on December 7, 2010 at the age of 61.  A mere 6 days before she died, Elizabeth created a new will … one that didn’t mention her husband, even once.  220px-ElizabethEdwardsReno

Who can blame her?  After all, John first denied — then admitted to — having an affair, which produced a child, whom he first denied — but then admitted — was his.

Many media reports about this will say that John was cut out completely and Elizabeth left everything to her children.  This isn’t entirely true.

In reality, Elizabeth left everything except her personal property to a revocable living trust she created, the Anania Edwards Trust (“Anania” was her maiden name).  Because trusts, unlike wills, are private documents, we don’t know for certain who the beneficiaries of her trust are.

But, it’s safe to assume John isn’t one of them.  On the other hand, he could change that.  Spouses in North Carolina, as in most Read more...

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Ronni Chasen Estate: Murdered Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen has missing will

Ronni Chasen was a top Hollywood publicist until she was brutally shot and murdered on November 16, 2010, in Beverly Hills, California.  She left behind no children and no spouse, but a detailed will and assets valued at more than six million dollars.Chasen_ronni_publicist

You can download and read Ronni Chasen’s 51-page will here, courtesy of Eonline.

The police reportedly have solid leads related to the slaying of the 64-year old, after they approached a hitman named Harold Smith.  Smith shot himself as police approached to apprehend him.

While the drama surrounding her death certainly overshadows Ronni Chasen estate, there could be some conflict arising there as well.  Chasen’s will leaves most of her wealth to one of her nieces, while the other niece was left only $10.

That niece, Jill Gatsby, told E! News:

That’s a real family secret regarding Ronni and my career as a writer which I am choosing to keep to myself at this time.

She implies that this secret relates to why she was

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It’s baaaack … The Anna Nicole Smith Case

It has to rank as one of the craziest, lengthiest and most-watched probate litigation court cases of all time.  It officially started as Vicki Lynn Marshall (a/k/a Anna Nicole Smith) vs. E. Pierce Marshall (son and sole beneficiary of the late oil tycoon, J. Howard Marshall).  Anna-Nicole-Smith-Estate-Trial-and-Heirs

Originally, the Smith team won an $88 million against her “step-son”, Pierce, but that victory was taken away by the Court of Appeals, which ended the fight.  That is, it was over until the United States Supreme Court ruled in Smith’s favor and reinstated the case.

Then Pierce died, followed by Anna Nicole Smith.  But, just because they both passed away doesn’t mean the fighting stopped!  Their two estates have continued to battle over the billions left behind by Smith’s 90-year-old husband, 15 years after he died.

Then, this past March, the Court of Appeals again threw out the case (on a different legal ground).  Once again Smith’s estate, with the infamous Howard K. Stern at the helm, asked the Supreme Court to step Read more...

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