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A California courtroom is the site of a battle over the estate of the late Charles Manson. Manson, who died in 2017 after spending almost five decades in prison, was notorious for his involvement in the murder of nine people.

Three people are competing for probate of the estate. One man says he is Manson’s son and has asked that the other two claims be dismissed. According to his claim, Manson died without a will. A second man claims to be the grandson of Manson and the son of the late Charles Manson, Jr., who killed himself in 1993. Reportedly, a DNA test performed on him and compared with another of Manson’s sons was negative. Court papers also show that Manson denied being related to the man.

The third claim is from a man who was Manson’s pen pal. He says he has a copy of Manson’s will and that he witnessed its signing and is also its sole beneficiary. The two men who say they are Manson’s sons point that this suggests either undue influence or fraud.

Although the specifics of this situation are unusual, the general outline of it is less so. In some cases, after a person’s death, various heirs will make claims about the legitimacy of one or more wills. Some parts of an estate plan might be challenged, or some family members may allege that another family member or even someone from outside the family used undue influence to get the person to change the will or other estate planning documents. Even if these conflicts are not present, a person who has been appointed executor of an estate might want to consult an attorney about the process.

Source: My News LA, “Probate battle over Charles Manson’s estate continues,” Christina Kelley, 3/5/2018