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Estate & Probate Litigation Archives

Douglas Tompkins | Multimillion Stepmother Battle

Douglas Tompkins Estate Litigation.jpgPhoto Credit: Sam Beebe

When billionaire Douglas Tompkins, the co-founder of two major brands, North Face and Espirit, died in a kayak accident in Chile in December 2015, he left everything in his estate to his second wife, Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, as well as to foundations the couple created to preserve land in Chile and Argentina. His two daughters, including Summer Tompkins Walker, and his five grandchildren who live in the Bay Area, were all disinherited. This is yet another case of the widowed stepmother getting almost everything.

Alan Thicke | Another Stepmother Estate Drama

Alan Thicke | Another Stepmother Estate DramaPhoto credits: Glenn Francis, Jesse Grant

He was born Alan Willis Jeffrey in Ontario, Canada in 1947, but we remember him by his stage name, Alan Thicke, a popular comedian, actor, comedian and talk show host, and best known for his role as Dr. Jason Seaver on the 80's sitcom Growing Pains.

Focus Groups | CA Estate & Trust Litigation

CA Estate Trust Litigation Focus Groups.jpgFocus groups in estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation are a valuable tool in determining community attitudes to undue influence and financial abuse cases.Participant selection, presentation venue and moderator approaches all play a part in this important process of community discernment.

Tom Clancy | The Battle Over Jack Ryan


Tom Clancy Estate Litigation Dispute.jpgHe was one of the greatest spy fiction writers of our era, and his movies and characters will certainly live on for decades, but for all his brilliance as a novelist, Tom Clancy was not good at plotting a satisfying end to his own estate.

Estate Disasters | Dying without a Will

Estate Disasters Dying Without Will Intestate.jpgSeveral years ago, in my second decade of practicing law, I learned a lot about estate disasters. My mother's aunt had substantial financial resources - resources saved and invested over the many decades of her life. She and her now-deceased husband had saved for old age - for security in their retirement years. She owned her own San Francisco home, had a secure pension and a large stock portfolio. Then, in her early 90s, she had a caregiver to assist her at a time of her decreased mobility, limited hearing, other sensory deficits and lost driving privileges.

Aretha Franklin | Trouble Ahead Without a Will

Aretha Franklin Died Without a WillThe world lost a great talent last month when Aretha Franklin, known as "The Queen of Soul" passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. In a remarkable career that spanned nearly 6 decades, Franklin was acclaimed for her hit songs, "Chain of Fools," "A Natural Woman," and "Respect."

John Seward Johnson | Disinheritance & Incapacity

John Seward Johnson Estate Dispute.jpgPhoto Credit: RD Warren

The name John Seward Johnson probably means very little to you, but you've certainly know the company that Johnson's father, Robert Wood Johnson, co-founded. That's right - Johnson & Johnson, the maker of baby products we've all used for generations.

Blended Families & Estate Disputes | Widowed Stepmothers


Stepmothers & Blended Families | Estate & Trust Litigation Why do disinheritance issues often arise in blended families? Given the high incidence of divorce in the United States, at least half of America's children live with a biological parent and a stepparent.

America's Elders | Who Will Tell Their Story?


America's Elders Estate Trust Litigation.jpgStories help to define us. Who we are. Where we come from. What has happened in our lives.

Peter Falk | Columbo's Estate Dispute

Peter Falk Alzheimers Estate Dispute.jpg"Just one more thing..."

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