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

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lessons From Zsa Zsa Gabor's Estate Gone Awry

Zsa Zsa GaborAs I have previously discussed, Zsa Zsa Gabor has had her share of probate problems. Most recently, her husband Prince Frederic von Anhalt won a temporary conservatorship over her and the management of her property. Now, it looks as if the probate court is set to invalidate the power of attorney that granted her husband nearly unlimited power in controlling both her health care and her finances. The court has stated that he must now provide monthly reports to her daughter, Francesca. Furthermore, the court stated that he can no longer keep Francesca from her mother. Francesca won a huge victory because it was she who originally alleged that Prince von Anhalt was abusing his position of power. Francesca alleged that he abused his power by using her "money for birthday parties, billboards, and his own mayoral campaign in L.A." As I have discussed in the past, Francesca also accused Prince von Anhalt of sedating her mother and intentionally keeping Francesca from seeing her.

The lesson that we can learn from this instance is the importance of choosing a good fiduciary. A person should make a thoughtful decision considering who should be appointed to make decisions on that person's behalf. Not only will it ensure that the fiduciary follows the person's wishes, but it very well could prevent probate fights over the control of that person's property. 

See Bonnie Bowles, Zsa Zsa Gabor Might Have Chosen A Better Fiduciary, examiner.com, Nov. 15, 2012.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2012/11/lessons-from-zsa-zsa-gabors-estate-gone-awry.html

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