Did the widow of singer-songwriter Sir Mack Rice, the legendary composer of Mustang Sally and other iconic hits, defraud her husband while he was alive?
Do you have an obligation to pass your wealth on to your children?
Most estate battles don't attract a great deal of attention, but there are exceptions. A dispute involving the spendthrift trust fund of a millionaire's grandson has spawned lawsuits in three states. Its dramatic background and complexity have drawn national interest.
Singing legend Aretha Franklin, like many others before her, died without a will. Unlike many others, however, she has a massive legacy that could become the source of a great deal of controversy for her heirs.
What do you expect could throw your will into dispute? Your insurance money? Your other assets? The way that you chose to distribute the household goods?
Whom do you trust to carry out your wishes once you're no longer here?
Mediation is always an option over litigation -- as long as both parties are willing to sit at the table. When a probate dispute arises after the death of a family member, it's often a good thing to consider mediation before heading to court.
How do you know if your heirs will fight over your will or not?
Nobody likes to think that their heirs will go at each other tooth and nail after the will is read -- but it happens. Sometimes, there are simmering resentments between family members that come to the surface after a death. Other times, someone just really believes that the deceased was mislead or his or her will was essentially corrupted by one person's undue influence.
Stepmothers have always had a bad image in popular mythology. Snow White certainly had trouble with hers. Hansel and Gretal didn't fare much better.