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Estate litigation: The Tom Petty case

| Jun 19, 2019 | Estate Litigation |

There are those in New Jersey who take the time to put together estate plans in order to ensure that they, their loved ones and their assets are protected, should anything happen to them. While doing this is something that is strongly advised, if the wording in estate planning documents makes one’s wishes unclear, all the planning and preparation may be for not. A prime example of this is the Tom Petty estate litigation case.

Tom Petty’s widow and his daughters from a previous relationship are battling over how his estate is to be divided and how his music legacy is to be handled. In his will, Petty stated that his estate is to be left to his wife and daughters in equal part. To some, that may seem pretty straightforward and means that the estate should be divided into thirds, each beneficiary receiving an equal share. However, to others, this is not specific enough, leaving some to believe that this means the wife should get 50% and the daughters should share the other 50%.

At this point, it is unclear how the estate will ultimately be divided. Petty’s daughters recently filed legal claims in an effort to gain further control of their father’s business interests and music legacy. They are also seeking damages in excess of $5 million to cover their losses and legal fees.

No one wants to put their loved ones through the pains of estate litigation. It can happen, though, despite one’s best efforts. It is impossible to control what family members will fight over, even if a person thinks his or her wishes are clearly stated. New Jersey residents who hope to avoid having their estates fought over in the end can turn to legal counsel who will be able to assist them with creating estate plans that are worded just right, so that there is no confusion when it comes time to divvy up their assets. On the flip side, those who do have concerns about the wording in a loved one’s estate planning documents can turn to an experienced estate litigation attorney for assistance resolving the matter as swiftly as possible.