Estate of Denial news clips (2/21/16)

Showdown looming in Benson estate fight (TX/LA)

San Antonio Express-News

February 18, 2016

The fight over the Benson family estate appears headed for a heated showdown in court Friday after cracks appeared in the mediated, out-of-court settlement the eve before it was to be presented in court.

The agreement that billionaire Tom Benson reached last month with his daughter to settle their 13-month legal battle over a $1 billion family estate has been derailed after lawyers for the 88-year-old filed a motion Thursday asking Bexar County Probate Judge Tom Rickhoff to send the negotiations back to mediation.


Stamford Attorney Accused of Pilfering from Estate (CT)

February 18, 2016

A Stamford attorney is facing larceny and forgery charges amidst allegations that he pocketed thousands of dollars from the estate trust of Stamford woman and her son and their heirs.

The family went to Stamford Police in November after they discovered that thousands of dollars were never deposited to the trust, according to police.


Former Conn. Lawmaker Could Be on Hook for $5 Million in Family Probate Battle

Connecticut Law Tribune

February 18, 2016

During Edwin Jarmoc’s life, he ran a successful tobacco farm in Enfield, building the business until it was valued in the millions of dollars. After he died, a lengthy legal squabble ensued between his two children, with each accusing the other of mishandling their father’s assets.

In a recent nine-page decision, Probate Judge James Purnell III sided with Laura Jarmoc, concluding that her brother, Stephen Jarmoc, a former state representative from Enfield, used funds to support a lavish lifestyle, including a “home, vacations, pension, tuition and a vacation home.” Purnell concluded the estate is owed over $2 million, plus half of the business’ profits from 2011 to the present. Attorneys expect further proceedings to determine the exact total dollar figure.


Windham County side judge comes under scrutiny in estate dispute (VT)

Brattleboro Reformer

February 18, 2016

WOODSTOCK >> Paul Kane filed a motion to try to avoid testifying in Windsor County Probate Court, but a judge ordered him to talk. As soon as he took the witness stand last November, it was obvious why he’d been reluctant. For 90 minutes, an attorney grilled Kane about whether he’d bilked an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease of roughly $500,000.

Brattleboro attorney Jodi French asked Kane why, after the ailing Catherine Tolaro granted him power of attorney, he purchased an $180,000 annuity with her money and named himself the beneficiary.


Thorpe trustees deny they’re witholding money from stray cats (ME)

Lewiston Sun Journal

February 19, 2016

PARIS — Trustees of the Barbara Thorpe estate deny withholding money from the abandoned and unwanted cats in Dixfield and have asked an Oxford County court to dismiss a case filed against them last month.

The trustees claim they have fulfilled their obligations under the Thorpe Trust, that the cat caretakers have no standing to sue them and that the allegations they’ve made are not allowed under the doctrine of unclean hands, which requires that the people filing the lawsuit have not acted dishonestly or unethically in connection with their claims.


Tom Benson family feud: Live updates from San Antonio courtroom (TX/LA)

The New Orleans Times-Picayune 

February 19, 2016

legal settlement between Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and his estranged daughter over a disputed family trust fund will be the focus of a hearing Friday (Feb. 19) in San Antonio amid reports that the mediated agreement is beginning to fracture.

Bexar County Probate Judge Tom Rickhoff has asked attorneys for the 88-year-old billionaire and his daughter, Renee Benson, to present orders that will implement the out-of-court settlement agreement that reached after a mediation session last month.


New Redstone competency report filed in court — and sealed

Chicago Tribune

February 19, 2016

The latest assessment of Sumner Redstone‘s mental state is in, but it’s unlikely to resolve questions about his ability to manage his life or finances anytime soon.

Redstone, the controlling shareholder of Viacom and CBS, was examined by a doctor chosen by his ex-girlfriend. She sued last year, alleging the 92-year-old isn’t mentally fit to make decisions. The psychiatrist’s report was filed Thursday in court under seal, and its findings aren’t public.


Tom Benson’s daughter wrestles control of $1 billion trust in settlement (TX/LA)

San Antonio Express-News

February 19, 2016

Tom Benson’s estranged daughter, Renee Benson, will replace her billionaire father as trustee overseeing her late mother’s assets in a settlement agreement approved today by a probate court judge.

The news represents a victory for Renee Benson who sued her father 13 months over his competency and control over the 1980 Shirley Benson Testamentary Trust.