Diminutive actor Mickey Rooney died this week at age 93. In recent years, he was in the news for his allegations of elder abuse against his step-son and step-daughter-in-law and for his Congressional testimony about the abuse. Last Fall, he symbolically settled the case against his step-son and his step-daughter-in-law for a $2.8 million judgment that will not be paid by them. He re-wrote his will last month to exclude his wife of 35 years, from whom he had separated a year ago after allegations of physical abuse, and his 11 natural children. He left his entire $18,000 estate to his other step-son who has been his care giver for the past 3 years.

Several points:

1. Elder abuse is more common than realized. Although it is rare when a spouse of 36 years is somewhat complicit in the abuse, mothers will go to great lengths to “protect” and enable their children’s bad habits.

2. Under Ohio law, his estranged wife would receive the entire $18,000 despite what the will states because a spouse is entitled to at least the first $20,000 of assets.

3. Eight wives? Someone should have told him he did not need to marry every woman he dated.