Mason & Helmers
We Welcome Your Call
  • Phone 651-323-2548
  • Toll Free 877-389-5533

Godfather of Rap estate dispute a cautionary tale for Minnesotans

Twin Cities jazz and rap fans may be dismayed to learn of shady dealings in the estate of Gil Scott-Heron, who died in May 2011 at the age of 62. The man who penned "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" would undoubtedly cringe to know that his recent Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award comes in the shadow of an unseemly family dispute.

According to the filings in pending probate litigation, the half-sister of the influential poet and musician allegedly conspired with her mother and grandmother to siphon over $250,000 dollars out of Scott-Heron's personal bank account shortly after his death.

The musician's son, acting on behalf of the estate, filed suit seeking the return of the missing money along with an additional $2 million in punitive damages. The son claims that the women took advantage of a limited power of attorney to misappropriate funds in a case of apparent self-dealing. According to the lawsuit, the women forged the musician's name in order to transfer money from an account set up to receive royalty payments into an account linked to the women's address.

The turmoil surrounding Scott-Heron's estate illustrates how basic estate planning tools can be abused by the very people entrusted to preserve an estate for heirs and beneficiaries. In the wrong hands, even the devices intended to protect an inheritance may become a liability to the wishes of a loved one.

Minnesotans who find themselves faced with a probate dispute will want to do everything legally in their power to preserve or recover estate assets and make certain those assets pass to the rightful beneficiaries.

Source: nydailynews.com, "Bitter fight over Grammy winner Gil Scott-Heron's estate," Barbara Ross, Feb. 28, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

For Assistance with Estate Disputes & Other Matters, Contact Us

To learn more about the firm and how we can assist you,
contact Mason & Helmers in St. Paul, Minnesota. Call 651-323-2548 or 877-389-5533 (toll free) to set up an appointment.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review
rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.

Contact Our Attorneys

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response
Mason & Helmers

Mason & Helmers
332 Minnesota Street
Suite W-3070
St. Paul, MN 55101

Toll Free: 877-389-5533
Phone: 651-323-2548
St. Paul Law Office Map