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Fast, Furious, and Guardianship Settlement

As mentioned previously, Paul Walker designated his mother as the guardian of his minor daughter, Meadow Rain, even though Rebecca Soteros, Meadow’s mother, was still alive.  His mother filed probate documents asking to be named guardian.  According to Bela Lugosi Jr, attorney for Mrs. Walker, the parties recently agreed to allow Meadow to live with Soteros once Soteros completes a stint in alcohol rehab.

Several points:

1.  This would have been a difficult fight for Mrs. Walker to win because the birth parent is presumed to get sole custody of a child regardless of provisions in the deceased’s will.

2.  Mrs. Walker probably leveraged the will provision to ensure that Soteros sought treatment before gaining sole custody of Meadow, although she might have been tempted to fight for custody by the trust funds available to her.

3.  Who knew that Bela Lugosi (Jr.) was practicing law?  I thought Bauhaus said “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”

Mindy McCready’s Children

In the aftermath of Mindy McCready’s suicide, a key legal question is who will receive custody of her children – six year old Zander and   10 month old Zayne?  The issue is complicated by Zayne’s father pre-deceasing Mindy last month while Zander’s father, Billy McKnight, lost custody of him years ago.

When there is a surviving parent, a court will usually award custody to the surviving biological parent.  When there is no surviving parent, a court will generally award custody to the person designated in the deceased’s will.  I have not read anything indicating whether Ms. McCready left a will, although I doubt a woman living in a garbage and feces strewn house would provide for her post-death affairs.  Here, the commentariat believes that Ms. McCready’s mother and step-father will receive custody of both boys.  I wish them all luck, love, and peace moving forward.  They all deserve it after the tumult in their lives.

This news should serve as a reminder for everyone to prepare a will so that their wishes for the custody of children post-death are not left to chance.

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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.