Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lessons from Walt Disney's Estate

Walt 2

Questions still linger as to what remains of Walt Disney’s trust.  Estate planners looking to build dynastic structures to protect wealth can learn from the recent developments in Walt Disney’s legacy. 

After the latest round of courtroom hearings over the fate of the Disney fortune, there are serious questions about Walt's empire.  The core family trust fund set up by Walt to look out for his widow and daughters is currently being disputed by the family.  Twins Brad and Michelle, 44, have become estranged from their stepfather Bill Lund.  Bill has a track record of taking unauthorized payments from the twins’ funds before he was removed as a trustee. 

If any money remains in the trust it will be distributed to the grandkids.  While this family feud continues, it illustrates how money is a powerful motive for anyone with a relationship to money to grab a piece. 

See Scott Martin, Perfect Storm Brewing for Disney Descendants as Multi-Generational Family Bonds Fray, The Trust Advisor, June 1, 2014. 

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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