The late Sherman Hemsley is best remembered as the actor who played George Jefferson on the classic television sit-coms "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons," but in more recent times, his name has been at the center of extraordinary legal battles over his legacy. The family disputes over his will were so intense and bizarre that they prevented his body from being buried until four months after his death.
There has been a lot of talk this year about how legalizing same-sex might change the make-up of the typical Minnesota family, but in fact it has been changing for decades. Divorce and remarriage are common, and so are family gatherings that include ex-spouses, children and step children, and various permutations of these relationships in each generation. These relationships can be just as wonderful as more traditional family relationships, but they aren't immune to traditional family arguments. And when these difficulties develop into legal battles, they can become very complicated.
According to one recent study, the 76 million members of the Baby Boom generation are inheriting $8.4 trillion from earlier generations. Much of this money is coming at a time when the economy is sluggish, and when younger generations are stuck with student loan debt and heavy mortgages. Perhaps as a result of the combination of these factors, there are more and more disagreements over inheritance in Minnesota and the rest of the country.
The Benihana restaurant chain may have offered an entertaining dining experience to many Twin Cities residents over the years. With over 100 locations worldwide and 6,000 employees, Benihana restaurants present culinary feats performed by knife-wielding chefs. But a lesser known show, of sorts, has been simmering since the death of the restaurant's founder in 2008.
Twin Cities outdoor enthusiasts will be familiar with the waterproof fabric Gore-Tex. The success of the popular material amassed a sizeable inheritance for the heirs of its inventor. That fortune led to a bizarre trust dispute that recently came to an end with a state Supreme Court decision.
Many readers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area may remember Zsa Zsa Gabor from film and television roles in an acting career that spanned more than four decades. Aside from her TV and big-screen appearances, Gabor also received a load of attention a number of years ago after infamously slapping a police officer. Unfortunately for the 95-year-old screen icon, the headlines today focus on her daughter's petition for the appointment of a conservator over the ailing star's finances.
It seems that the heirs of Bob Marley are wondering if "everything's gonna be all right." Minnesota music aficionados may be interested to know that the famous reggae singer's widow and nine children have sued Marley's half-brother. They seek to enjoin him from using the singer's name to promote an annual music festival in Miami and other business ventures. Marley died of cancer in 1981 at age 36, and 30 years later this probate dispute centers on the legal right to profit from the deceased singer's music fame.