Estate of Denial news clips (10/25/17)

Using Lay Witnesses To Combat Experts: Taking A Knife To A Gun Fight? (WV)

JD Supra (press release)

October 11, 2017

Expert witnesses can be expensive.  Yet, in estate disputes, they may be unavoidable.  When a will gets challenged based on an alleged lack of testamentary capacity or undue influence, you can all but guarantee that the decedent’s treating physician and medical records will make an appearance.  On the other side, the parties will line up the decedent’s friends, family, associates and the like who interacted with the decedent around the time the will was executed to claim the decedent either lacked capacity or was totally competent.  But, are these lay witnesses enough to overcome the doctor?  Perhaps not.

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia‘s opinion in Merritt v. Wolford provides a good example of what often happens when a party tries to combat an expert with lay testimony – it does not work out well for the party relying solely on the lay witnesses.


Bad Feelings Mar James Brown’s Estate

October 12, 2017

The late, great James Brown, known as “The Godfather of Soul” and “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” overcame an impoverished youth to win international acclaim. Sadly, despite having an estate plan in place, family squabbles have endangered the philanthropic legacy he sought to leave.

Brown’s 2000 estate plan was relatively simple: It provided for his personal effects to be distributed to his six adult children; for $2 million to establish a fund for the educational needs of his grandchildren; and the rest of his assets to fund the “I Feel Good” Trust to fund scholarships for financially needy and deserving students at schools in South Carolina and Georgia.


Eric Paddock on Thursday fired the Las Vegas law firm handling shooter’s estate

Daily Mail

October 12, 2017

The brother of the Las Vegas shooter has fired the law firm he’d hired to distribute the mass murderer’s estate to victims.

Eric Paddock, the brother of deceased killer Stephen Paddock, said Thursday that he’d fired estate administration lawyers from Clear Counsel Law Group, citing a dispute over press strategy.


Prince’s Master Tapes Moved From Minnesota Vault to California, 2 Heirs Angry


October 12, 2017

Two sisters and heirs of the late rock superstar Prince said Wednesday they’re angered that the contents of his vault, including master tapes of unreleased music, have been removed from his Paisley Park studio complex and shipped to California.

Sharon and Norrine Nelson, Prince’s half-sisters, told The Associated Press they are prepared to take legal action to bring the music back to Minnesota. The company running the estate, Comerica Bank & Trust, said the recordings are safe at a reputable storage company in Los Angeles.


Man ordered to leave home of 11 years after court fight (AUS)

Mackay Daily Mercury

October 13, 2017

BLOOMSBURY man Maxwell Scott Duncan has been ordered to leave his home of 11 years after losing a legal battle against his four brothers and mother.

When his father died in 2008 the will was split equally among the Duncan brothers and their mother. When everyone other than Maxwell wanted to sell the home things became heated.

The four brothers claimed that Maxwell had agreed in 2015 that if Maxwell paid them $120,000 he could have the property. They claimed Maxwell refused to sign the agreement and negotiations had to start again.