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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Legal dispute threatens 'Tortilla King's' fortune

The death of the founder of Gruma Corp., a corporation which manufactures different brands of tortillas that can be found in St. Paul, Minnesota homes, has left his loved ones fighting for control over his billions of dollars. Although the businessman died in 2012, his legal wife and children continue their probate battle with the businessman's female companion, a famous Mexican singer and actress. The companion claims that she legally married the businessman and has a right to her share in his fortune. Not surprisingly, the man's legal wife and children dispute this claim.

Interestingly, some of this dispute centers on the fact that some of the businessman's assets are in one country and some of his assets are in another country. In fact, the man's legal wife points out that the man's companion already tried to establish that she was legally married to the businessman before a court in another country but lost that case.

On the other hand, supporters of the man's companion point out that the businessman had not actually lived with his wife for over 30 years and that the legal wife actually received a payment as part of a divorce settlement. The man's wife and adult children have also been accused of secreting away some of the late businessman's valuable property.

When a deceased person's property is located in several different states outside of Minnesota, or even in a foreign country, it makes probate disputes that much more complicated and difficult to resolve efficiently. In a complicated multi-jurisdictional case, it may be a good idea to get more information about probate litigation options.

Source: The Business Journal, "Billionaire tortilla titan's death leaves heirs battling over his empire," Aug. 5, 2015

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