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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

December 2011 Archives

Rosa Parks estate at the center of probate dispute

Readers in the Twin Cities will be interested to hear of a recent court decision that involved the estate of the late civil rights activist Rosa Parks. The case has been unfolding in Michigan, where the state supreme court just overturned a previous ruling given by a probate judge and the Michigan Court of Appeals. Reportedly, the probate dispute has been focused on a $10 million memorabilia collection and the intellectual property rights of the late civil rights icon.

Symphonies playing different tunes over will litigation

Minnesota residents who are preparing their wills should take heed of a recent case out of New Jersey. The case speaks to the need for proper will administration, as a lack of attention to detail can leave heirs squabbling.The litigation involves the will administration of an Austrian-born researcher. In his will, he left most of his estate, a sum estimated at $700,000, to an "Israeli Symphony Orchestra." Oddly, though, the executor of his estate cannot find any orchestra in Israel with that name.

Bob Marley probate dispute: Will everything be all right?

It seems that the heirs of Bob Marley are wondering if "everything's gonna be all right." Minnesota music aficionados may be interested to know that the famous reggae singer's widow and nine children have sued Marley's half-brother. They seek to enjoin him from using the singer's name to promote an annual music festival in Miami and other business ventures. Marley died of cancer in 1981 at age 36, and 30 years later this probate dispute centers on the legal right to profit from the deceased singer's music fame.

Former Minnesota attorney general heads Office of Older Americans

Minnesotan readers will be interested to know that a new leader has been appointed to run the recently founded Office of Older Americans, which is part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The purpose of the new federal agency is to prevent the financial exploitation of seniors, such as in cases of undue influence, coercion and self-dealing.

Questions over laws regarding undue influence

In the administration of an estate in Minnesota, myriad factors may come into play. Included are not only the disposition of property, but also issues such as a potential will contest based on allegations of undue influence. Currently, the burden of proving undue influence is on those making the allegation, but there are some who wish to change this aspect of the law.

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