Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rosa Parks Update


The battle continues to brew over the estate of civil rights icon Rosa Parks. 

The fight is not, however, really about the physical assets in her estate.  Instead, the controversy surrounds her name and image which could be worth over $10 million.

Rosa's will left the bulk of her estate to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.  Parks distant family (nieces & nephews) are contesting the will claiming that Rosa's friend, Elaine Steele, exerted undue influence over her and has been mismanaging her estate.  They are claiming that they should have control over her likeness and image.

The trial starts on February 19, 2007 in Wayne County Probate Court in front of a six-member jury.

See David Ashenfelter and Suzette Hackney, Parks estate fight treads fine line in mixing marketing, legacy, Detroit Free Press, Jan. 30, 2007.

Special thanks to Elizabeth Carter (J.D. Candidate, Texas Tech University School of Law) and David S. Luber (The Estate Planning Law Firm, P.A.) for bringing this upcoming trial to my attention.


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