Saturday, July 20, 2019
In March, a trustee of Peter Bing's estate petitioned a Los Angeles court to get two of his grandchildren that were born out of wedlock excluded from a trust set up to benefit his grandchildren. The trustee claimed that Peter had a specific definition of "grandchild" in mind when he drafted his trust, and it did not include the two children his son Steve Bing had fathered without being married to the mothers. Steve has a 21-year-old daughter, Kira, with former tennis player Lisa Bonder and a 17-year-old son, Damian, with British actress Elizabeth Hurley.
The court shot down the petition this week, saying that there was no ambiguity in the term of grandchild, and Judge Daniel Ramirez added that additional "restrictive" definitions "unreasonably distort the term's clear and plain use." Steve had claimed that the petition was part of scheme by his sister, Mary, and his father to "orchestrate a money grab" from the trust. He had asked the court to penalize his sister by disinheriting her children from the trust, but the court refused that option. All of the grandchildren are expected to inherit at least several million each.
See Maria Pasquini, Elizabeth Hurley’s Son Damian, 17, Wins Inheritance Fight Against Grandfather: Report, People.com, July 19, 2019.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.