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Probate Litigation Archives

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.

Michael Lohan to seek conservatorship for daughter Lindsay

A conservatorship can be a useful tool for families who have a loved one who may no longer be able to make decisions in their own best interests. Usually these situations arise from an elderly person who may be suffering from dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease or someone who has been injured in an accident and may be incapacitated for a period of time. However there are circumstances in which a person may be considered by a probate court to be unable to make decisions on their own behalf or on behalf of their own children. The case of Britney Spears is one recent example.

Kevorkian estate reaches deal over disputed artwork

The estate of former Michigan resident Jack Kevorkian recently settled with a museum over the ownership of artwork painted by notorious doctor. Having a trustworthy executor who can solve legal disputes such as these during estate administration is important.

Thomas Kinkade estate at center of probate dispute

The death of a loved one can be a difficult matter to handle. Emotions are riding high and level heads are few and far between. If the deceased is without a will to specifically advise survivors on how to distribute the estate's assets and survivors disagree on what should happen to the estate, matters can get complicated quickly. In cases such as this, probate litigation will ensue in order to provide a resolution, as this story demonstrates. That is why it is so important for Michigan residents and others elsewhere to plan for the unexpected with a will or trust.

Sherman Hemsley's will contested while his body awaits burial

Michigan residents may have heard that iconic television star Sherman Hemsley, star of "The Jeffersons" passed away several weeks back. And as is rather common when a celebrity dies, long lost relatives pop up to contest the will and delay probate for whatever reasons. Such is the case with Sherman Hemsley, whose body will be kept on ice until a local probate court can rule on his will, which is being contested by a man who claims to be Hemsley's brother.

James Brown's estate in a quagmire of litigation, finger-pointing

When people in Michigan plan their last will and testament, they do so with the idea their final wishes will be followed to the letter of the law. Even though music icon James Brown's estate plan specifically states that anyone who contests his will should not receive anything from his estate that is not how things have ended up. Instead of choosing to enforce that clause in his will, and in essence protect the very charitable organization Mr. Brown left the majority of his estate to, the assistant Attorney General in charge of the case chose to award more than half of Mr. Brown's estate to parties who contested the will in probate litigation.

Husband, daughter reach agreement in Zsa Zsa's conservatorship

Michigan readers of our blog may remember an earlier post that detailed a battle between Zsa Zsa Gabor's daughter and her husband of 25 years over who should be the conservator of Ms. Gabor's care and estate. Francesca Hilton, Ms. Gabor's only child from a previous marriage, is satisfied with the court ordered conservatorship agreement as it requires Ms. Gabor's husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, to provide financial statements and medical records each month, according to her attorney.

Reese Witherspoon's father placed in conservatorship by family

With Father's Day just around the corner we thought our Michigan readers might be interested in a story about the need to protect our elderly loved ones from a variety of threats, including dementia. The story involves the elderly father of Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon and her brother who have requested their father, John Witherspoon be placed into a conservatorship.

Lawyer sues Michigan judge and two lawyers over Rosa Parks estate

A lawyer is accusing a Michigan judge and two other probate lawyers of conspiracy in attempting to bilk civil rights icon Rosa Parks' estate out of $507,000 in legal fees, according to court papers. Ms. Parks' estate consists of several thousand pieces of civil rights memorabilia, including her personal papers, letters, photos, books, awards and, clothing, all of which has been valued at upwards of $10 million. The items have been sitting in an auctioneer's warehouse for months as the estate's probate litigation continues.

What happens to your debt when you die? (Part 1)

Being named as the sole beneficiary of a relative's estate may not be what it once was with so many properties upside down and the nation's credit card debt at record levels. What do you do if you are willed a house in which the mortgage owed is more than the value of the house? Generally speaking, personal debt dies with the person, however as in all things in life, exceptions exist and estate and probate litigation laws vary state by state.

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