Family power struggles at the time of a loved one's death are not so common that they disrupt the settlement of every estate, but conflicts happen. Legal issues among Los Angeles heirs and beneficiaries often occur when no estate plan exists or a critical legal document is indistinct.
Estate administration complexities deepen when a wealthy or famous person dies intestate -- without a will. Information that the decedent may have hoped to keep private is noticed by the public. Asset division becomes a probate judge's job.
Rap artist Heavy D, born Dwight Myers, died in 2011. Media reports and family member statements were unclear about whether the 44-year-old passed away with a valid will. The rapper's estate remains in probate.
According to the late performer's mother, Heavy D's teenage daughter will be the sole recipient of his property including royalties from the rapper's work. A recent report hinted the artist's brother was challenging the claim.
Floyd Myers submitted a probate petition in Los Angeles. The siblings' mother said the filing did not signify an internal battle. Floyd and Heavy D apparently shared ownership of a condominium, which the surviving brother now wants to sell. The legal paperwork follows statutes that require court notification.
Heavy D's family said probate was overseeing the estate. The late rapper's 13-year-old daughter would be in line to inherit her father's worldly wealth even without the existence of a will, according to state succession statues.
The family said it supported the idea of making Floyd Myers the estate representative. It appears Heavy D's estate plan -- if a plan was ever created -- designated no such person for the position.
Not all jointly owned property must pass through probate when one owner dies. Whether a probate court gets involved depends on how asset ownership was originally structured. Duties of a surviving property owner can be explained by an estate planning attorney.
Source: allhiphop.com, "Heavy D's Mom Addresses Reports Of Fight Over His Estate" Yohance Kyles, May. 22, 2013