Many people in Lee County, and elsewhere, have the misconception that estate planning is only for those who will leave behind significant assets. Regardless of the size of a person’s estate, there are often are still details that must be settled. For those who die without wills, the court will typically appoint an administrator to handle the probate process and ensure that all of the decedent’s affairs are in order, which in some cases may cause other legal issues to arise.
The children of the former guitarist for the ‘70s punk-rock band, the New York Dolls, are reportedly involved in a legal dispute for control over their late father’s estate. According to reports, he left an estate of only $4,000 when he died, but having not had a will, his sister was named as his estate administrator. Rather than just pay out the money to her brother’s heirs, his three children and his estranged wife, she made investments and was able to grow his estate to over $160,000. The distribution of assets went smoothly while his sister was in control, but after she too passed away, there where issues with who would take over and the payments to the man’s beneficiaries stopped.
According to reports, the one time rocker’s two adult sons have taken legal action to try to block their half-sister, his daughter, from getting control of his estate. No details were disclosed as to why the man’s sons are asking the court to bar his daughter from administrating the estate.
In order to avoid situations such as this, it is best to have an estate plan in place that dictates who you want in control of your estate. A lawyer can help you to draft your estate planning documents and create a plan that will work for you.
Source: New York Post, “New York Dolls estate fight,” Julia Marsh, Dec. 9, 2013