Probate abuse clips from (10/9/15)

Appeals Court Rules for Heirs of Santa Claus Song Composer (NY)

October 8, 2015

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” is comin’ back into the hands of the heirs of a songwriter who composed it.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City reversed a lower-court judge Thursday and ruled in favor of the heirs of John Frederick Coots. He co-wrote the song in 1934.


Government figures show number of contested wills rising (UK)

October 7, 2015

Ministry of Justice figures show there has been a steep rise in the number of wills being contested in court, and many lawyers think it is because of more complex relationships, with divorces and remarriages.

After Stuart Herd’s father died, his step-mother changed the will that split the estate with his step-brother, but Mr Herd says that is not what his father would have wanted.


Michigan attorney stole $100K from woman with Alzheimer’s, AG says

October 6, 2015

PETOSKEY, MI — An Emmet County attorney was arraigned Monday for stealing $100,000 from an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease, said the office of the Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Michael Aho Kennedy, 67, of Petoskey, was charged with one count of embezzlement from a vulnerable adult of over $100,000 and one count of embezzlement by a trustee of over $100,000. Both charges are 20-year felonies.


Doctor Charged With Looting Indian Burial Grounds (CA)

Courthouse News Service

October 6, 2015

FRESNO, Calif. (CN) – A doctor has been charged with looting ancient Native American artifacts from tribal and public lands including Death Valley National Park and Sierra National Forest.
Jonathan Bourne, 59, pleaded not guilty on Monday after a federal grand jury in Fresno returned a 21-count indictment against him, charging him with violations of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.


Carter to Mediate Dispute Over MLK Bible, Nobel Peace Prize

October 5, 2015

Former President Jimmy Carter is stepping in to help resolve a legal battle over the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s traveling Bible and 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.

The slain civil rights icon’s estate, which is controlled by his sons, last year asked a judge to order their sister to surrender the items. In a board of directors meeting last year, Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott King voted 2-1 against Bernice King to sell the two artifacts to a private buyer.


Eminent jurist Keith Mason to mediate family dispute over Neville Wran’s $40 million fortune (AUS)

The Sydney Morning Herald

October 6, 2015

The fight over the estate of former NSW premier Neville Wran will be mediated by eminent former appeal judge Keith Mason.

The various parties squabbling for a greater share of the Labor giant’s fortune will gather behind closed doors next month in an attempt to nut-out a private settlement and avoid a public trial.