Estate of Denial news clips (week of 8/23/15)

Paxton’s role in Hunt family probate case called ill-defined and unorthodox (TX)

Houston Chronicle

August 23, 2015

Tanner Hunt, son of Dallas oil billionaire Ray Hunt, texted the mother of his two young daughters in the fall of 2011 for a picture of the girls in their Halloween costumes. The next day, he took a Glock pistol into bed, pressed it to his chest and fired a single shot, according to an Austin police report.

He was only 31 and left behind a $200,000 estate and no will, probate court records show.


BCI has an ongoing criminal investigation into ex-Mahoning County Probate Court Judge Mark Belinky (OH)

The Vindicator

August 22, 2015

There is an ongoing criminal investigation into former Mahoning County Probate Court Judge Mark Belinky, who, according to a state investigator’s affidavit, admitted stealing money from people he was a guardian over and falsifying court records, among other crimes.


Hospital doesn’t owe Huguette Clark’s estate due to loophole (NY)

New York Post

August 24, 2015

The Manhattan hospital that kept an elderly heiress in a private room for nearly 20 years for no medical reason — while reaping millions of dollars from her — doesn’t owe her estate a dime thanks to a legal loophole.


Lawsuit over MacMillan trust fund reaches confidential settlement (CO)

The Aspen Times

August 24, 2015

Aspen lawyer David Bovino and Old Snowmass homeowner Patricia MacMillan, heir to the Cargill agribusiness fortune, won’t be going to federal trial this month after settling their legal dispute that centered around allegations of a smear campaign, a death threat and misuse of a trust fund.


Court costs blow over Nina estate

The Standard

August 25, 2015

The Chinachem Foundation cannot use money from the late tycoon Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum’s HK$83 billion estate to pay its legal costs, the highest court ruled yesterday.

The Court of Final Appeal in May sided with the secretary for justice in concluding that the foundation is only entitled to hold Wang’s vast estate as a trustee, under the supervision of an independent managing organization, instead of receiving it as an absolute gift.


Tom Clancy’s Widow Wins Legal Battle Over Taxes on $86 Million Estate

The Wall Street Journal

August 24, 2015

BALTIMORE—Tom Clancy’s widow has scored a legal victory in a long-running dispute over who should foot the hefty taxes on the best-selling author’s $86 million estate, which largely comes from a minority share of the Baltimore Orioles and includes a rare World War II tank.


Son spent his inheritance proving his father was guilty of murdering his mother four years after her death (UK)

August 23, 2015

Pelle Walls, from Salt Lake City, Utah, and his siblings were devastated when his father, John ‘Johnny’ Brickman Walls, told them that their mother and his ex-wife, Uta von Schwedler, had committed suicide back in 2011.


DA Eyes $8.5M Estate of Maraschino Mogul Who Killed Himself After Pot Bust (NJ)

August 24, 2015

RED HOOK — The owner of Dell’s Maraschino Cherries, who killed himself when investigators discovered a secret pot farm at his Brooklyn factory, wanted his $8.5 million estate to go to his family — but that plan may have soured.


Who Owns Helen Gurley Brown’s Legacy?

The New York Times

August 22, 2015

From the apartment of Helen Gurley Brown — No. 22D, a turreted quadruplex in the Beresford building on Central Park West — one can glimpse among the sleek modernist skyscrapers in the Manhattan skyline the Norman Foster-designed Hearst Tower directly to the south, a little over a mile away. Famously thrifty, Ms. Brown, the legendary editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, commuted there on the M10 bus well into her 80s.


Ohio Supreme Court urged to review Belinky’s tenure

The Vindicator

August 26, 2015

A veteran lawyer who has practiced extensively in the Mahoning County Courthouse offered this analogy to former county Probate Judge Mark Belinky’s sins of commission regarding guardianships: “It’s like a father coming home from work each day, knocking on his daughter’s bedroom door, entering and then proceeding to sexually abuse her because he knows she’s defenseless.”


Estate of Heiress Loses Fight to Recover Millions in Donations From Hospital (NY)

The New York Times

August 25, 2015

The estate of the copper heiress Huguette Clark has lost a battle to recover more than $4 million worth of donations, including an Edouard Manet painting, that she gave the Manhattan hospital where she lived for the last two decades of her life.


Vindicator request for probe irks Ohio chief justice

The Vindicator

August 27, 2015

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor of the Ohio Supreme Court said she is “upset” that a Vindicator editorial asked that she appoint someone to investigate what happened in Mahoning County Probate Court when Mark Belinky was its judge.


Whistleblower in Portsmouth police inheritance case still gagged by department (NH)

New Hampshire Union Leader

August 26, 2015

PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth is just days away from answering auxiliary police officer John Connors’ First Amendment lawsuit filed against the city in U.S. District Court.


Man claiming millionaire’s fortune at odds with his lawyer over withdrawing will (NY)

August 18, 2015

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — One of the two people who filed a will staking a claim to a Staten Island millionaire’s fortune is at odds with his attorney over withdrawing his petition, and could have his claim dismissed soon.


Ongoing litigation stalls distribution of Hemlani family fortune (GUAM)

Kuam News

August 23, 2015

It’s a complex case of family members feuding over a fortune that was never really intended to go to them. Instead, the millions in assets are supposed to go to a variety of local and off-island charities. The philanthropists in question are P.D. and Radhi Hemlani, who came to Guam in the 1950s.


What Brussels IV means for wills and inheritance in Europe


August 26, 2015

Determining which law will govern matters arising from a deceased person’s estate is of significant importance: the laws of succession can vary dramatically between states as can inheritance tax liability.

Under the law of England and Wales, individuals generally have the right to dispose of their estate upon death, via a valid will, in any manner that they choose. However, several countries have rules in place which restrict this right by requiring a certain portion of the estate to be left to direct descendants or spouse of the deceased.


Butler County man charged for allegedly stealing from mother’s estate (PA)

August 27, 2015

A Butler County man is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from his mother’s estate in Allegheny County.


Robin Williams Estate Goes Back to Court (CA)

U.S. News & World Report

August 28, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Attorneys for Robin Williams’ wife and children were due back in court Friday in the ongoing fight over the late actor’s estate.

The two sides were scheduled to go before a San Francisco judge, as court documents indicate they remain at odds over the division of Williams’ personal items and a reserve fund to maintain Susan Williams in the home she shared with Robin Williams.


Longtime friend of Ernie Banks wants his estate to repay $80,000 debt (IL)

Chicago Tribune

August 28, 2015

A longtime friend of late Cubs great Ernie Banks is seeking $80,000 from his contested estate to repay loans she says she made to the slugger over the years to pay for his personal expenses.

In the filing earlier this month in Cook County probate court, Shirley Marx, 84, claimed that Banks “faced liquidity issues frequently and had difficulty meeting his financial obligations.”


Siblings claim stepmom filed fake will to get $10M inheritance (NY)

New York Post

August 28, 2015

Two siblings want a Manhattan judge to toss out patient-client privilege so they can prove their stepmother filed a fraudulent will that denied them a cut of their father’s fortune.


Tom Benson puts more promissory notes in former heirs’ trusts in effort to reclaim Saints, Pelicans shares from funds (TX/LA)

The New Orleans Advocate

August 29, 2015

Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson put $522 million worth of promissory notes in his former heirs’ trust funds on Monday in an effort to retake nonvoting shares in the teams that are held by the trusts, a New Orleans federal court filing on Friday showed.


Tom Benson family feud: Saints, Pelicans owner continues push to remove heirs from teams (TX/LA)

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

August 28, 2015

Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson delivered $522 million in promissory notes to his jilted heirs’ trust funds this week as the billionaire continues with an effort to remove his daughter and grandchildren from ownership in the teams, according to a court filing Friday (Aug. 28).