We are working remotely and all of us continue to be available by telephone or email. In alignment with national, state and local initiatives as it relates to the coronavirus, we remain open for business and have changed the way we are working for the health and well-being of our employees, and you, our valued clients and colleagues. Read more

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

Auto icon's remains linger in limbo of probate dispute

The mention of Carroll Shelby most likely stirs a bit of reverence in many Twin Cities residents who admire the legendary muscle cars bearing the iconic name of the engine designer and former race car driver. The automotive legend died last month after a life spanning 89 years in diverse pursuits that included several marriages. Unfortunately, a final resting place for the renowned race car driver may have to wait until the resolution of probate litigation involving a family dispute over authority to make burial arrangements.

The driver's wife asserts that she has authority to decide the manner of his burial pursuant to a power of attorney executed in 2010. She raised questions of undue influence when she stated that the driver's children made efforts to deprive her of access to her husband near the end of his life.

Shelby's three children claim that he executed a document only a few months before his death, instructing that he be cremated and his ashes divided four ways. Each child would receive one third of the ashes, and the fourth portion would be scattered over a burial plot in the driver's home state of Texas. Shelby's wife insists that the new document is a forgery, but the children say they can produce several witnesses to its execution.

Even if they cannot produce witnesses, the Shelby's children seem to be in a better position than the wife when it comes to legal authority over burial decisions. Under the laws of most states, including Minnesota, a power of attorney only grants decision-making authority during the principal's lifetime.

If Shelby's children are represented by reasonably competent legal counsel, it seems likely that they should be able to resolve the dispute quickly and get their father's body released from the morgue for proper burial.

Source: Star Tribune, "Auto designer Carroll Shelby's family in dispute over burial plans; body still in Texas morgue," Nomaan Merchant, June 19, 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

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.


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