Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Monday, June 3, 2013

Family Turmoil Might Split Billion Dollar Foundation

DetroitAs I have previously discussed, the legal battle between the William Davidson's widow and son versus Jonathan Aaron, co-executor of Davidson's estate and president of the William Davidson foundation, and wife Mary is expected to continue in Delaware once the suit is filed. Allegedly, Jonathan Aaron fabricated a family dispute to gain exclusive control of half the foundations assets.

Currently, the foundation cannot be managed because of the board members 2-2 gridlock. As a result, the foundation cannot govern itself or distribute any assets because of this impasse. 
Aaron, was attempting to split the foundation’s$1 billion in reported assets. 


Aaron's petition to split was unsuccessful because the court held that the case has to be heard where the foundation is incorporated. Aaron's salary for serving as board president is the reason for the lawsuit. 

Aaron currently receives $125, 000 annually, but the foundation calls for his base salary to be paid on a sliding scale of from a $180,000 range to $600,000 depending on the total assets in the foundation. The two sides are currently mounting their defenses. 

See Chad Halcom, Court Records Show Foundation of Davidson Family Dispute, Crains Detroit, May 26, 2013.

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


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Seeing if Rick Mahorn cannot be appointed mediator here. If so, I am confident of a speedy resolution.

Posted by: bjc | Jun 3, 2013 6:02:14 AM

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