If we asked you to describe a scenario involving a probate dispute, would your answer involve the family members of a celebrity or wealthy individual locked in civil litigation with the personal representative of the estate? If so, you wouldn't be alone. A lot of people all over the country associate probate litigation with wealthy individuals.
But while our example today does exemplify this assumption, we'd like to make it clear to our Melbourne readers that disputes can arise in estates both big and small. It's how you choose to handle these disputes that will determine how long it will take for the dispute to reach a resolution.
As a way to illustrate this point, we'd like to bring to our readers' attention the case of BB King, the famous blues singer who passed away recently. Even though King had his affairs in order, including appointing his business manager of 39 years, LaVerne Toney, as his power of attorney and executor of his estate, two of King's heirs are making claims that could send his estate into probate. The claims, as you may have already heard, are that Toney and King's personal assistant, Myron Johnson, hastened his death through poison.
At present time, the accusation of murder against the two aides is unfounded as autopsy results are still not available at the time of this post. So absent any legitimate grounds to revoke Toney's power of attorney and duty as executor of King's estate, King's estate will continue to work through the administration process as usual for now.
As we stated above, big or small, any estate could encounter disputes that may lead to litigation. From contesting a will to presenting evidence that would strip the right to manage an estate from a power of attorney, these disputes are not easily handled by non-attorneys. It takes a special understanding of the law in order to reach a quick and fair resolution, which is why obtaining a lawyer is incredibly important in situations like this.
Source: CBS DFW, "Heirs Claim B.B. King Was Poisoned," May 26, 2015