Why does it seem like so many celebrities have issues with their Estate Planning?
The latest is B.B. King. The Estate of the late great blue’s legend is going to be paying some attorney’s fees. Obviously, when that happens, the beneficiaries of the Estate receive less.
King was the father to 15 children both natural and adopted. Eleven adult children survive. A group of them are alleging among other things that he had a more recent will than the one that has been tendered. They also allege that his business agent for 39 years should not be the executor of King’s Estate.
The children allege that the business manager moved more than one million dollars around; did not allow the family to see King during his final days; and caused him to have improper medical care. As one would expect, through his attorney all of these claims are denied!
So, why does this happen? Those of us that are experienced Estate Planning attorneys have represented both the named executors and have represented the people contesting the will and/or contesting the naming of the person listed as executor in the Will. Sometimes the children are right – the person around their parent at the end of his or her life engaged in undue influence and/or stole from their parent.
Sometimes the children are wrong. They may be upset that the Will does not read the way they would have liked it to read. This really is no different in a celebrity case than in a non-celebrity case, except that we do not usually read about what occurs in a non-celebrity case.
In the King case, the Will was prepared in 2007. Unless the children can prove that he entered into a Will subsequent to that one; or that he was under undue influence in 2007, they are going to have a tough road to navigate. On the other hand, if they can prove that the business manager or anyone else took money from Mr. King, the Estate would be entitled to reimbursement.
Estate Planning and Probate Attorney, Manhattan Beach Local, Sports Enthusiast