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Judge tosses case against singer's parents, conservators

While families sometimes have to turn to a conservatorship in situations where a family member might be incapable of making decisions in their own best interests, these probate litigation issues can become more complicated in matters relating to a person with high level of fame - and assets.

A recent post on this blog reported attempts by Lindsay Lohan's father to establish a conservatorship; a notion founded by her many legal troubles. Michigan readers may be interested in news related to another former child star, Britney Spears, and her ongoing conservatorship established following her two psychiatric hospitalizations a few years back.

According to a report last week a judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by Ms. Spears' former confidante and self-professed manager accusing her conservators of a variety of charges. The judge in the case ruled that the man had failed to prove any of the claims against Spears' parents and caretakers and refused to allow the suit to go to trial.

The man's claims related to issues involving Spears around the time of her very public meltdown four years ago. He had sued Spears' mother for libel and claimed Spears' father struck him just before the conservatorship was established. The man also contended that he was owed 15 percent of Spears' earnings as her manager. The judge ruled that none of the claims were proven, including the plaintiff's lack of a binding management agreement. The defense argued even if there was such an agreement it was most likely obtained using undue influence.

Spears' fiancé was added as a co-conservator, joining Spears' father, earlier this year. A probate judge oversees the arrangement, and he directed them not to allow Spears to attend the trial.

Most conservatorships do not involve such public and inflammatory matters, but anytime someone has to make the hard decision to consider seeking a conservatorship, it's critical to have a full understanding of all the legal issues involved.

Source: Daily News, "Judge Ends Case Against Britney Spears' Parents," Anthony McCartney, Nov. 1, 2012

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