Many in Los Angeles may view an estate as simply being those assets that one will pass on to their heirs when they die. While that may be the case in many situations, there are also many scenarios where an estate is intended to be a vehicle for generating income for beneficiaries. In cases where a decedent leaves behind intellectual and artistic works that still have value, beneficiaries can often expect royalties from the use of such properties to provide them with funds for years (if not decades). It may come as little surprise, then, that such estate cases can often become contentious.
That is what is currently happening in the management of the estate of the late singer Tom Petty. The former Heartbreakers front man left his widow in charge of his estate, yet also gave his two daughters from a previous marriage authority to have input over the decisions regarding the use of the estate’s assets. That input has led to disputes between the daughters and Petty’s widow (as well as members of his band). Specifically, Petty’s widow cites an incident where one of the daughters rescinded her permission to use the singer’s image on a sign in park dedicated to him in his hometown. She also claims that the daughters’ actions have prevented her from moving forward the release of some previously unreleased material Petty left behind.
When dealing with financial matters between family members, there may always be the potential for contention. Being transparent in the estate planning process and providing a very well-defined direction with one’s estate can often help to avoid discord. While this may be easier said than done, many may find that enlisting the services of an attorney during the estate planning process can avoid subsequent troubles as an estate is probated.