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Ex-California actress takes a stand against estate property sale

Tara Tyson Kulukundis was never well-known for her acting talents in New York or Los Angeles. The off-broadway and bit-part television actress did enjoy some notoriety decades ago and lived a comfortable lifestyle, at least until the death of her husband Manuel Michael Kulukundis.

The late, Greek-shipping tycoon died three years ago leaving behind a trust containing about $50 million for his heirs. Very little of the family members' inheritance was liquid. Two executors were assigned to settle four valuable properties, including a New York beach home that the 68-year-old widow has refused to vacate.

The widow apparently has no ownership rights to the four properties, including the $25 million mansion where she is sequestered. The executors want to close the sale on the five-bedroom beach house to satisfy a $10 million mortgage.

Manuel Kulukundis also left behind more than $20 million in unpaid, combined mortgages on several other properties. Most of the real estate has been sold and settled to rid the estate of debt and support what court records call the widow's "extravagant lifestyle."

The beach home's settlement date is set, but Tara Tyson Kulukundis has steadfastly refused to move, even at the urging of her son. The widow switched the locks and chased away moving companies multiple times.

This is not the first time the two fiduciaries went rounds with Kulukundis's widow over estate assets. The one-time actress barred auction appraisers from valuing the mansion's artwork in 2011.

The executors have petitioned a court to force the widow to move out. A court ruling is pending, which may delay the property settlement or altogether scotch the sale.

When California estate plans are well thought out, beneficiaries and heirs receive assets through a transition with as little friction as possible. Legal conflicts often surface when heirs receive fewer or less valuable assets than expected or fail to get assets they hoped to have.

Source:, "Actress Tara Tyson Kulukundis clings to her late hubby's Southampton mansion, refuses to leave despite $25M sale," Barbara Ross and Corky Siemaszko, March 21, 2013

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