Posts tagged "Inheritance Disputes"
A deceased California cult leader remains in ongoing litigation as at least four parties vie for the right to claim his body. Charles Manson died on Nov. 19, 2017, at age 83 after spending 46 years in prison for his role in the murder of seven people in 1969. Since that time, two relatives and two others who claim to have a legitimate will from Manson have been engaged in litigation over the man's estate.
It is not uncommon for stepmothers and stepchildren to become involved in estate disputes. In California and throughout the country, will and trust contests and other matters often involve these parties. Stepmothers tend to be in these types of conflicts partially because of an increased life expectancy. Women who are age 65 today can expect to live to age 86 on average. A man who is 65 today can expect to live to age 84 on average.
When a loved one passes away in California, sometimes the will may carry with it some bitter surprises. This is the case for relatives of one retired factory worker, a lifelong loner who lived by himself and died of advanced dementia at the age of 92. After a funeral service which family members were excluded from, they learned that his entire estate, as well as his power of attorney for medical issues and his annuities, were given to a financial adviser that he met 10 years prior to his death.
Family fighting during the estate process is nothing new in California and other parts of the country. One such family squabble is ongoing in Baltimore, Maryland, over the estate of a successful businessman.
News sources report that an inheritance dispute has arisen over control of the estate of cult leader Charles Manson, who died in a California prison on Nov. 19. Manson was initially sentenced to death after his followers killed several people in 1969. In 1972, he received a life sentence after the California Supreme Court struck down the death penalty. Now, two men are each claiming to hold wills naming them as the sole beneficiary of Manson's estate.
The Playboy Mansion of Hugh Hefner was a magnet for celebrities in California for decades. The Los Angeles location served as the scene of the magazine publisher's final wedding to Crystal Harris in 2012. In 2013, a source revealed that she had signed a prenuptial agreement with Hefner, and his will that existed at the time did not name her as a beneficiary.
When Prince died unexpectedly from an accidental drug overdose, he had no will. His estate included valuable music recordings, including unreleased works known as the vault. The movement of these vault materials to a storage facility in California lies at the heart of a court complaint seeking removal of Comerica Bank as the personal representative to the estate.
When people in California die without a will, their children have a legal basis for declaring themselves as heirs to estates. Gaining access to those assets, however, might entail the conscious efforts of people to support a minor who must assert a claim by petitioning a court.
Will contests in California are difficult. It is rare for challenges to wills to be successful because the probate courts view the documents as representing the voice and wishes of the testator. There are some valid grounds on which will contests may be based and that may result in a will's being declared invalid, however.
It is not uncommon for those who stand to receive less than what they were expecting from a loved one’s estate to threaten legal action to contest the validity of a will. These actions, (commonly known as will contests) are akin to a civil lawsuit where the testator’s intent is reviewed. The awards stemming from such an action may result in a will being amended and property being redistributed.