Probate Archives

Undue influence at issue in Cohen will dispute

Will disputes are sometimes part of the probate process. There are a variety of reasons why these disputes can arise, but there are some scenarios that occur more frequently than others. One of the most common bases for will contests is that the testator—the person who executed the will—lacked testamentary capacity.

Fights of late actor's money continue

Our Georgia readers may remember us writing some time ago about the unfortunate case of Sherman Hemsley, the actor who played George Jefferson in the Sitcoms All in the Family and The Jeffersons.  Hemsley died of lung cancer last July, but because of a drawn-out estate dispute, he wasn't buried until November.

Choose your executor carefully--it can be a risky job

Executors, or personal representatives in some states, are responsible for administering a person's estate after that person dies. These duties include collecting and managing any assets, paying off any bills and taxes, closing the estate and eventually distributing what is left of the assets.

Famous art collector's estate can't afford to bury his body because of dispute

The body of New York-based artist Merton D. Simpson, a painter well known for championing African art and who accumulated a collection worth millions of dollars, is in a bit of a predicament after last month's funeral. After the ceremony, the body of the art collector was not buried, but was instead returned to the funeral home in Charleston where it had been for more than two weeks since his death at the age of 84 early last month.

Will dispute over Kinkade estate settled outside court

The legal dispute over the $60 million estate of Thomas Kinkade, "Painter of Light," has reportedly been settled, just in time for Christmas. As our readers may already know, Kinkade died back in April after accidentally overdosing on alcohol and Valium. We wrote about the estate dispute back in July, noting that Kinkade's estranged wife of 30 years and his girlfriend of 18 months had been engaged in a dispute involving competing wills. The complicated relationship between Kinkade, his wife and his girlfriend made matters even stickier.

Family of deceased Atlanta woman fights with minister over alleged contract

Our readers may be aware of the death of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, the Atlanta woman fatally shot by police during an illegal drug raid back in 2006. After enduring her untimely death, Johnston's family is now battling with a man of God in probate court over money.

Actor's probate ordeal good reminder to do careful estate planning

As our readers know, the body of the late actor Sherman Hemsley has been in legal limbo in the face of legal challenges to his estate. Thankfully, Hemsley's body will finally be put to rest, three-and-a-half months after he died from lung cancer.

Discussing family estate plan can help minimize problems down the road, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about the importance of having family discussions around estate planning. There are a number of good reasons for this, but the one we've been focusing on is that it reduced the likelihood that problems will arise down the road when it comes time to settle the estate in the probate process.

Season tickets are at the heart of Lumpkin family probate litigation, P.3

In our last couple posts, we have been writing about ongoing probate litigation between Julia and Frank Lumpkin III, the son and daughter of Frank Lumpkin Jr., who died in 2000. As we noted, Julia Lumpkin removed was judicially removed last month as a representative of her parents' estate. What we didn't mention before is that Julia Lumpkin was the probate judge in charge of the case.

Season tickets are at the heart of Lumpkin family probate litigation, P.2

In our previous post, we began speaking about a long-time probate dispute between the son and daughter of Frank Lumpkin Jr., who was a die-hard Georgia athletics fan. The dispute, we noted, concerns season tickets. Such disputes, while not common, can and do occur.

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