Benihana's founder's will disputed

Posted on May 27th, 2010 No Comments

A tangled estate dispute between the wife and children of the late Rocky Aoki, best-known for his founding of Benihana Inc., is working its way through the court systems.

New York State Surrogate’s Court recently ruled that Keiko Aoki, Rocky’s third wife and widow, was entitled to pursue her attempts to seize control of a trust currently being controlled by Rocky’s children.

The dispute is over whether or not Rocky was aware of what he was doing in 2002, when his lawyer and children convinced him to sign documents that forbid him from leaving any part of his estate to anyone but his descendants.

The judge who ruled in Keiko’s favor believed there to be clear evidence that there was an “impermissible conflict of interest” in the lawyer acting as adviser to both Rocky and Rocky’s children.

One of the key pieces of evidence for this conclusion was a memo the lawyer wrote to himself in 2003, which the court was able to obtain. “Undoubtedly, the fur will fly when [Rocky’s new lawyer Joseph] Manson and his clients, Keiko and Rocky, discover the existence of the executed partial release,” he wrote, referring to the documents that would forbid Rocky from ever leaving the assets to anyone but a descendant. Rocky died in 2008.

If you are looking for an experienced estate attorney who can help you put your affairs in order and possibly avoid this kind of conflict, contact the Houston contested will attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C., at 281-362-2865.

Leave a Reply

firm info  |  practice areas  |  articles  |  faqs  |  blog  |  contact us  |  Site Map  |  resources  |   Find us on Google+   |   Log in

Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
Serving The Woodlands, Spring, Houston, Conroe, Kingwood, Tomball, Cypress, Huntsville, Cleveland, Stafford, Montgomery County, Harris County, West Oaks, Memorial, Sugar
Land, River Oaks, Alief, Stafford, Missouri City, and Southwest Houston Texas.