It's always unfortunate when loved ones argue after the head of a family and benefactor passes away. The estate planning process is often a means to avoid such disputes, especially if an estate owner was thorough and exact in the execution of a particular plan. Even when an estate plan exists, however, it does not always keep disagreements from arising among Louisiana families or others.
A highly acrimonious situation in another state is a prime example. In this case, a woman who was only married to her now-deceased husband for a little more than a year is battling her stepchildren, her husband's former business associate and others for what she claims should be her share of his estate. The decedent was a well-known entrepreneur who built a successful local bakery establishment and often funded the campaigns of local politicians.
Some say the bread man, as he was affectionately called, also happened to leave substantial stashes (as in millions of dollars) of cash hidden here and there when he died. His estate is currently only valued at approximately $155,000. His widow claims the baker's children and others have helped to conceal his fortune so she cannot get her hands on what is rightfully hers.
Those on the other side of the issue say not only is that not true but the baker's widow has concocted scandalous allegations against them to defame them and attempt to claim more than what she is entitled to in the existing estate plan. The court will now have to sort through the estate planning issues at hand to determine who is telling the truth. Louisiana residents facing similar estate administration problems may want to align themselves with experienced legal representation before heading to court to increase their chances of obtaining positive outcomes.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Dueling financial portraits of John Paterakis emerge in legal battle between widow and children over his estate", Jean Marbella, Nov. 27, 2017