The death of infamous California cult leader Charles Manson led to a lengthy dispute over his body, as three separate people contended for the right to his remains in court. However, in March 2018, a court ruled in favor of a man who claims to be Manson’s grandson. Manson died in prison in November 2017 while serving a life sentence in prison for a scandalous 1969 series of murders. His remains were stored in Kern County while the litigation continued in court.
While the man did not immediately address the plans he has for Manson’s body, he had previously stated that he planned to cremate the body and spread his ashes. The man’s attorney said that he saw a benefit to a public scattering of Manson’s ashes. Seven people were killed in the series of murders over two nights in 1969; the victims included pregnant actress Sharon Tate. While the legal battle may have been resolved in terms of the handling of Manson’s body, more disputes are still to come when it comes to the remainder of his estate.
A purported will was submitted by another man, who claims that Manson left him all of his estate in 2002. The man who proffered the will to the court is a collector and vendor of memorabilia related to the Manson case; he is one of the witnesses to the purported will, in violation of the law.
While the case of Charles Manson may be particularly notorious, inheritance disputes can arise for a number of reasons in any family. Questionable wills may be put forward, or heirs may claim that an existing will reflected the influence of another beneficiary. For people involved in a dispute over inheritance, working with a probate and estate litigation attorney may be helpful in protecting their interests and the assets of the estate.