As previously mentioned, Sam Simon was the co-creator of The Simpsons.  When he died a year ago, he reportedly left his $100 million estate to various charities.  However, various charities he had supported during his life were initially miffed that they had not received support from his trust during the six months after his death.  Also, the individual taking care of his Cane Corso was squabbling with the Trustee about receiving insufficient funds to care for the dog.  Now, his girlfriend has filed a claim against his estate alleging that Simon had promised her $5 million in his will if she quit her job.  His first wife, Jennifer Tilly, also filed a claim against the estate asking to continue to receive payments from his estate for work he did on The Simpsons and the Drew Carey Show.

Many points, but let’s try to keep them  focused:

  1. California recognizes the concept of an oral contact to make a will although it will be difficult for the girlfriend to prove his promise to leave her money.   
  2. Ohio requires that a contract to make a will must be in writing which would likely preclude the girlfriend’s claim.
  3. Jennifer Tilly’s claim will be determined by the content of both her separation agreement and Simon’s severance agreement upon leaving The Simpsons.
  4. In an article published in Vanity Fair mere months before Simon’s death, it was reported that Simon was using his last days determining how to give his estate to charity. No mention was made of providing for his girlfriend.
  5. Matt Groening, the other co-creator of The Simpsons’s, once said that Simon was brilliantly funny although unpleasant and mentally unbalanced.  His promises compared to his actual estate plan might have been one last brilliant joke.  Or a bit of unpleasant craziness.