I previously noted that Glen Campbell’s 3 children from his second marriage were contesting his will which he signed in 2006. The will omitted them, likely due to their supporting their mother during her divorce from Campbell and later suing him over the publishing rights she received in the settlement. His 2001 will also omitted them. The children recently dropped their lawsuit.
A few points:
1. The lawsuit would have been difficult to win because Campbell made both wills long before he went public with his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
2. Campbell’s estate was recently valued at $1.2 million which is way less than the original estimate of $50 million.
3. If the omitted children were successful in challenging Campbell’s estate plan, they would have inherited $100K each tops.
4. The money for recording artists is in the writing and publishing not the performing. Campbell generally performed songs written by others.
5. Three divorces, 8 children, and years of cocaine use are never conducive to accumulating wealth.
Photo credit: Larry McCormack/The Tennessean
License: Fair Use/Education (from linked article)
Bill Cornwell lived in a Greenwich Village brownstone with his same sex partner for 50 years. When he died two years ago, his will left the building and all of his possessions to his partner. However, the will was only witnessed by one individual while NY law requires two witnesses. Without a valid will, his estate will pass to his closest living relatives who are his nieces and nephews who recently sold the building for $7 million. The partner has since filed suit trying to prove that he and Mr. Cornwell were actually married, although they were not, so he can be considered the closest heir.
So many points and such short attention spans:
1. All wills require two witnesses not related to the individual and who will not receive any assets under the will.
2. Using a DIY will kit could lead to problems with properly executing wills (among other issues)
3. The legal arguments made by the partner verge on stupid. One of them is that even though they lived in NY, which does not recognize common law marriage, they bought a dog in Pennsylvania in 1991 as a symbol of their commitment to each other and because Pennsylvania used to recognize common law marriage they should be considered as married.
4. The 85 year old partner would be better off dropping the law suit and accepting the offer of the nieces and nephews to live in the apartment for 5 years at a monthly rental of $10 and receive $250,000 upon the sale of the building.
5. The entire problem could have been avoided if they had simply married each other once gay marriage became legal.
6. One niece claimed, apparently with a straight face, that her uncle did not want his partner to inherit or he would have properly executed the will. She also suggested that perhaps the men were just friends or great companions. The address of the rock under which she lives is unknown.
I am an attorney located in Cincinnati, Ohio who practices in the areas of estate planning, probate, asset protection, and small business advice. I make a difficult and bewildering process as simple as possible. Most importantly, I provide "more for less" for my clients.