When we wrote in early April (here) about Mickey Rooney’s death, we briefly touched on the situation with his estranged wife, Jan. The couple had been married for 36 years, but when Rooney passed away at age 93, Jan told the press that she had not seen her husband for at least a year.
He had accused Jan of elder abuse a couple of years ago, after he testified to Congress about the financial and verbal abuse he had suffered at the hands of Jan’s son Christopher and his wife. Once Rooney was out of their control, the court appointed a conservator to handle his affairs. He lived with Jan’s other son, Mark, for the last years of his life.
Soon after his death, news outlets reported that his estate was valued at a mere $18,000. In his will, which is now a public document, he appointed his conservator as the executor of his estate and named Mark as his sole heir. Rooney left nothing to Jan and Christopher, nor did he leave anything to his eight biological children.
People magazine is now reporting that two will contests are in the works. In one, Jan asserts that Rooney lacked testamentary intent when he executed the will just a month before his death; she further asserts that Rooney was subjected to undue influence by his conservator. She will ask the court to invalidate that will and to accept instead the will Rooney had executed 11 years ago — the will that named her as his sole heir.
California law may be on her side. We’ll explain more next week.
People, “Mickey Rooney’s Children Challenge His Will in Court,” Champ Clark, May 13, 2014
Radar Online, “Mickey Rooney’s Wife Claims She CAN’T Be Cut From His Will — She Owns Half Of It!,” May 15, 2014