Trial and Heirs

It’s shocking how many rich and famous people make mistake and after mistake, which often leads to heirs fighting over inheritances. But, it’s not only the rich. Everyday across the country, people from all walks of life make the exact same mistakes time and time again. The only difference is the dollar amounts that they’re fighting over.

Civil rights icon Rosa Parks passed away in Detroit at the age of 92 back in 2005. Almost six years later, her legacy is still tied up in a lengthy court battle. The case features allegations of abuse, cronyism and corruption by the probate judge as well as the two lawyers he appointed to oversee the estate and trust.

Ryan O'Neal is at it again. He and Craig Nevius, a Hollywood producer who used to work closely with Farrah Fawcett, are in the midst of more legal fighting against one another.

Celebrity heirs fighting over the estate is far from uncommon but it is unusual when an ugly court battle starts before the celebrity even dies. That certainly has been the case with the Dennis Hopper estate.

No, it can’t be. Has the 15-year saga started by Anna Nicole Smith, as she tried to get money from the estate of her deceased husband, really come to an end?

Leona Helmsley, widely regarded as the “Queen of Mean” before she died at age 87 in 2007, left behind a fortune valued by some to be worth $40 to $80 billion. She earmarked twelve million dollars to take care of her dog, Trouble, until the Judge reduced it to a paltry $2 million.

While Whitney Houston was recently admitted to rehab, she has one other big concern that she still has to face - her no-holds-barred court fight with her late father’s widow.

Irvin Feld was a rock-and-roll promoter who purchased “The Greatest Show on Earth” in 1967. He created a promotion company to manage the Ringling Bros. Circus, along with Disney on Ice and monster truck shows, but none of his shows have been as eventful as what’s happened between his two children the last few years.

The Michael Jackson Estate has featured fireworks since very shortly after Michael died on June 25, 2009. His mother, Katherine Jackson, was not happy about non-family members, including attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain, being named as executors of his estate. So she hired lawyers and challenged the executors in probate court. They fought … and fought … and fought.

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