Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Estate of Iron Range Chef Jeno Paulucci is in Dispute

Estate DisputeThe estate of Iron Range Chef Jeno Paulucci is in dispute between his children and the new trustees of their father's large trusts. Paulucci "is best known for founding the Chun King line of canned Chinese food products in the late 1940s, which he sold in 1966 for $63 million." He later went to make a larger fortune selling frozen dinners under a number of trademarks. He established the trust in dispute more than a dozen years before his death. At the time of his death, the trust contains about $100 million in assets. 

His adult children contend that the two men, a businessman and state senator, manipulated Paulucci and his wife to make them the trustees of the trust. With regards to their claim, the children claim that as the beneficiaries of the trust "they have the right to fire the trustees David Simmons and Larry Nelson and replace them with the original trustees, William Berens and George Eck." The children contend that their parents lacked the capacity needed to appoint the new trustees and that they were under "undue influence" of the newly appointed trustees. While the attorney for Simmons and Nelson claim that Paulucci made them the trustees because Paulucci wanted the trust to be well-managed. At the moment, the estate dispute is on hold because the two parties on in dispute over the proper venue of the case. 

See Abby Simons, Jeno Paulucci Money in Nasty Court Dispute, StarTribune, Oct. 20, 2012.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) and Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.))  for bringing this article to my attention.


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