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This estate litigation not fated, but not especially surprising

Glen Campbell unquestionably lived large, having a life that fully justifies the many biographies that will certainly surface in the wake of his recent death. The singer/guitarist was a music legend with a broad-based entertainment career spanning decades.

As to his mention in an estate planning legal blog, it bears noting that Campbell married multiple times and fathered many children. Readers of our posts at the Bay Area Law Offices of Connie YI will perhaps not be overly surprised to hear that his active and frenetic family life -- coupled with his well-publicized battle with Alzheimer’s disease during the final years of his life -- has led to litigation-linked news following his death.

We noted in a recent blog entry that select family factors can serve to an extent as predictors of future estate battles. We spotlighted in our July 31 post the key finding of one recent study that those factors prominently include “blended families, multiple ex-spouses, kids from prior marriages and situations where one spouse is much younger than the other.”

Notably, those dynamics closely defined the Campbell family, which, coincidentally, is now embroiled in an estate litigation spat that follows closely upon Campbell’s death last year.

The crux of the matter revolves around two wills, which several of Campbell’s children recently challenged in a Tennessee court. A state judge has ruled that the children -- who have been denied any inheritance rights -- have a legal right to contest the wills’ validity based on various grounds, including the entertainer’s susceptibility to being unduly influenced in his latter years.

Campbell’s widow (who is not the mother of any of the contesting children) filed the most recent will in probate court and serves as estate executor. Reportedly, she did not challenge the children’s right to oppose the wills.

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