Jim Reeves Estate Battle Nearing a Close

Posted on July 27th, 2011 No Comments

The long, strange battle over the estate of late country musician Jim Reeves may soon be over.

Earlier this month, Nashville Seventh Circuit Court Judge Randy Kennedy ruled that the dispute would be narrowed to the interpretation of a 1976 will written by Reeves’ widow.  A trial has been tentatively set for October.

The country crooner died on July 31, 1964 when a single-engine private plane he was piloting crashed. His widow, Mary Reeves, took over managing Reeves’ posthumous career. She has released only a portion of the 100 demos that Reeves had recorded and stored away during his lifetime.

In the mid-1999s Mary signed away her late husband’s entire catalog of songs in exchange for $7.6 million in two promissory notes from United Shows of America. The company was owned by a former bank official named Ed Gregory Jr. He sold most of Reeves’ collection of memorabilia. The administrator of Mary’s estate had filed a lawsuit in 2001, challenging the transactions. This battle went on for more than four years, until a new will surfaced in 2005.

Mary Reeves’ second husband, Terry Davis, claimed he discovered in an old safe a one-page, handwritten will that Mary had allegedly written years before, leaving him the bulk of her estate, including all rights to Reeves’ music, royalties, and legacy.

If you are involved in an estate battle involving contested wills, please contact the Houston Contested Will Lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2865.

Lawsuit: Rosa Parks’ Estate Was Drained

Posted on July 21st, 2011 No Comments

A lawsuit has been filed against two lawyers and a judge over their handling of civil rights icon Rosa Parks’ estate.

According to a Michigan Supreme Court filing, Wayne County Probate Judge Freddie Burton Jr. allowed two court appointed attorneys, John Chase Jr. and Melvin Jefferson Jr., to drain nearly $243,000 in legal fees from Parks’ $372,000 estate. The filing states that once the money was gone, the lawyers persuaded Burton to award them Parks’ vast memorabilia collection and the rights to license her name, which Parks had given to her Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development long before her death.

Attorney Steven Cohen, who represents the institute in the probate case, filed a request Tuesday asking the Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court decision that stood behind Burton’s handling of the case. Cohen accused Burton of overstepping his bounds.

“Since Mrs. Parks’ death in 2005,” the filing reads, “the court system of her adopted city has embarked on a course to destroy her legacy, bankrupt her institute, shred her estate plan, and steal her very name.”

Cohen claims that Burton has kept his actions and rulings sealed to prevent the public from learning that the lawyers were disregarding Parks’ final wishes.

If you need assistance with probate litigation in the Houston area, please contact the Houston probate litigation attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2865.

UK Woman Claims Brain Tumor Invalidates Late Husband’s Will

Posted on July 14th, 2011 No Comments

A woman in the United Kingdom is in the midst of an estate battle with her late husband’s family.

According to court documents, 61 year-old Olga Smith says her late husband Thomas Smith was not of sound mind when he replaced a 1992 will, which left her almost the entirety of his $846,00 estate, with a 2005 will in which she got nothing. Following Smith’s death in 2009, an autopsy revealed that he had been suffering from a neuroblastoma brain tumor. Mrs. Smith now claims that her late husband’s “strange behavior,” including an obsession with crossdressing, was a sign that his faculties had been addled by the tumor, rendering his 2005 will invalid.

Members of Mr. Smith’s family, however, insist he knew exactly what he was doing when he created the will. They claim Mrs. Smith was cut out of the will because their marriage was effectively over and she “never used a broom, never cooked a meal, not even a cup of tea” for her husband.

If you are involved in an estate battle, please contact the experienced Houston contested will lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2865.

Understanding Living Wills

Posted on July 6th, 2011 No Comments

In recent years, living wills have become quite popular, yet many people are unsure of exactly how they work.

A living will is a legal document that an individual uses to outline their wishes regarding life-prolonging medical treatments. Living wills are also known as health care directives, physician directives, or advance directives. It is important to note that a living will is different from a living trust, which is a means of holding and distributing an individual’s assets to avoid probate.

The requirements for a living will vary by state. Generally, the declarant would indicate which life-prolonging treatments they do or do not want applied in the event they suffer from a terminal illness or enter a permanent vegetative state. A living will does not become effective unless the declarant becomes incapacitated.

If you are interested in learning more about a living will, please contact the Houston Living Will Lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2865.

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Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
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