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Laws collide, social media emerges in global estate conflict

| Jun 11, 2019 | Estate Litigation |

The matter might have seemed like an open-and-quickly-shut case to the widow of Johnny Hallyday.

A French court is taking a different view.

Hallyday, a huge and iconic entertainment presence in France, died in that country in 2017. A recent media report on the so-called “French Elvis” stresses that he “was an idol for many during his life and received a hero’s tribute in Paris after his death.”

Hallyday died rich, leaving behind properties across the globe (including in California) and copyrights to more than 1,000 songs. Unsurprisingly, his estate handling and disposition has garnered widespread interest.

A quarrel has emerged regarding that, with Hallyday’s fourth wife/widow and his two adult children from prior relationships now locked in a alegal battle over his vast holdings.

Laeticia Hallyday points to a will the entertainer wrote in Los Angeles. That instrument appoints her as sole heir and manager of Hallyday’s estimated fortune of “tens of millions of dollars.” Notably, the instrument provides nothing to Hallyday’s adult children.

The kids are contesting that, relying on a French law that does not allow for disinheritance of children from previous relationships.

And they have argued that a French court has the right to intervene in the matter. They state that Laeticia’s claim that Hallyday lived almost exclusively in the U.S. for years while having only a peripheral and distant relationship with France is false.

A French court was sufficiently convinced by dated pictures from the entertainer’s social media accounts to agree with the children and rule that it had standing to weigh in on the estate conflict. Pictorial evidence has demonstrated that, contrary to Laeticia’s claim, Hallyday spent huge chunks of time inside France in recent years.

A global estate battle in brewing. We shall keep readers duly informed of any material details that emerge.

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