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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Hospitalized billionaire center of estate row

A titan in the media industry that might be known to Minnesotans as a primary stakeholder in television network CBS is now, at least according to a lawsuit filed by his longtime companion, incapable of making medical decisions or himself, or, for that matter, appointing a new person to make those decisions on his behalf.

Although the companion wanted the billionaire to have an immediate evaluation, the judge hearing the case declined to do so, saying that there was evidence that the man was in the care of a physician and that he did not seem to be facing any looming medical issues that would require the intervention of a medical representative.

The companion who filed the suit was recently removed as the billionaire's medical representative, meaning that she will no longer be able to make life or death decisions on her friend's behalf. The man also reportedly had her leave his upscale home about two months ago.

For their part, those affiliated with the billionaire, and still apparently in his good graces, have said that recent medical evidence shows that the billionaire is perfectly capable of making decisions and severed ties with his companion of his own accord. They also accuse the billionaire's companion of simply being upset about an overhaul in the billionaire's estate plan that could well leave her without an expected inheritance after the billionaire dies.

In any event, sometimes debates over who makes health care decisions or who, if anyone, will serve as a legal guardian for a person can lead to extensive and stressful probate litigation. Saint Paul, Minnesota, residents in such situations may need to explore their legal options.

Source: New York Daily News, "Sumner Redstone won't have to undergo medical testing to prove mental status in court battle with ex-girlfriend: judge," Nancy Dillon, Nov. 30, 2015.

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