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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Update on court battle involving media mogul

Our Minnesota readers may remember that several weeks ago, this blog reported on a developing court battle involving a media mogul, who is over 90, and his former girlfriend. The former girlfriend, 40 years the man's junior, was acting as the businessman's health care representative and monitoring his care.

A recent court filing indicated that the girlfriend had already received $70 million from the man and was set to receive an additional $50 million upon the man's death. The woman also was in line to receive the man's home, which is estimated to be worth $20 million, before the man had her removed as his health care decision-maker and also cut her out of his estate plan.

In the ensuing probate litigation, the woman asked a court that she be reinstated as the man's health care representative, alleging that she had been the target of a plan by the man's daughter and his health care providers. The woman alleged that she had provided great care to her aging friend and that the man's daughter was not around. While the woman has indicated that her only goal in this court fight is to protect her friend, she has yet to formally disclaim an interest in his wealth.

A judge is scheduled to rule on the woman's motion to be reinstated in the upcoming days. Prior to the ruling, the media mogul's daughter stated that her father had been doing better since he left the woman's care and that he has expressed fear over having his former girlfriend re-taking control over his medical decisions.

This case serves as an example of how probate litigation can start even before a person dies. Oftentimes, important decisions about a person's life and property get made as they age, and when conflict arises as a result, a Minnesota family may want to consider hiring an experienced probate attorney in order to get advice and assistance.

Source: Variety, "Sumner Redstone's ex-girlfriend stood to gain house and $50 million, new court filing shows," James Rainey, Feb. 9, 2016.

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