Friday, December 29, 2017
Only one in every ten wills is ever contested. But, these odds increase dramatically when the decedent’s estate contains significant wealth. When high-net-worth individuals are laid to rest, friends and family begin to discover the inherent unfairness in the decedent’s final disposition of assets. In some cases, legal battles and fighting can tear families apart while the estate lawyers reap the benefit of the discord.
Baseball legend Ted Williams is an unfortunate paradigm of such post-mortem bickering. His will provided for his remains to be cremated and then scattered in the Florida Keys. His son and daughter from his third marriage presented the court with a signed note saying that their father wanted to be frozen in case scientific progress might someday bring him back to life. As of today, Williams’s severed head and body await reanimation in Arizona.
See Ian T. Shearn, Strife After Death, Financial Advisor, December 15, 2017.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.