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Marrriott heir claims he's been cut off for divorcing

Nearly everyone here in Southern California has stayed at a Marriott hotel at some point. The Marriott company is the world's largest publicly-traded hotel chain. However, all is not well with the family behind it.

John Marriott III is alleging that his father has forced him out of the business and has taken away his trust fund and essentially disowned him. He says that these actions were taken because he divorced his wife two years ago. The Marriotts are Mormons. That's a religion in which divorce is strongly discouraged.

John Marriott, who is 56 years old, is suing his father and uncle, who control the trust that was established by their parents, for breaching their fiduciary duty.

The family battles go back more than a decade. John, who once held a high position in the Marriott company, admits that he has had issues with alcohol and drugs. However, he says that they have never impacted his work for the family company. He claims that his father gave him Valium when he was just 12 to relieve his anxiety, saying ‘You have everything you need. Go back to bed.'"

He says that when he told his parents that he and his wife were divorcing, his father told him, "You're leaving the family." He claims that his father threatened to make his substance abuse issues public unless he resigned from the company.

John Marriott, who is suing his father and his uncle, says that his loss of salary and the amount of money in the trust add up to the loss of millions of dollars a year in income. He also says that he no longer has a relationship with his mother or siblings.

He told the media, "Since the divorce, my dad has tried to take away everything that I've earned and everything that my grandparents left for me, basically to punish me for not maintaining the image of the perfect Mormon family."

Most family trust disputes don't involve this amount of money. However, it's essential to understand the terms of any trust in which you're named a beneficiary. If that trust is cut off, an experienced California estate planning attorney can advise you of your potential legal options.

Source: Washingtonian, "Marriott’s Former Heir Apparent Sues His Father," Marisa M. Kashino, Oct. 30, 2017

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