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Friday, May 22, 2015

BB King estate fight could get pretty ugly

It seems that yet another celebrity estate is headed for court. Apparently even though legendary blues artist B.B. King has only just passed away, his children are already fighting over control of  his estate. The National Post has a story about this, which you can read by clicking here.

Celebrity families are just like regular families, except that they have different assets to fight about, and their dirty laundry gets aired in public. The National Post story mentioned that Mr. King's business manager, LaVerne Toney, had also had power of attorney while Mr. King was alive, and that some of the kids accused him of stealing money and alienating family members. Sound familiar? It's a scenario we've all heard before. Many a person acting under power of attorney is accused of a dozen kinds of misbehaviour, sometimes with good cause and sometimes without. However, it seems to me that if Mr King had 11 children and still wanted someone outside of the family to have control over his assets, he probably had his reasons. He could probably predict that his kids were winding up for a brawl long before it happened.

It is still too early to tell how ugly and prolonged an estate battle in this case might be. However, it could be bad, considering that members of the family have already proven that they are quite willing to use the courts. Prior to Mr. King's death, some of the children unsuccessfully tried to have LaVerne Toney removed so that they could control the assets. When that didn't work, one of the daughters remarked that they had lost the battle but they hadn't lost the war.

Spoken like someone who thinks the estate is going to pick up all the lawyers' bills. Litigious people sometimes end up draining estates just to pay the lawyers and accountants, and unfortunately that could happen in this case. People have long since forgotten that the courts are supposed to be the last resort when other methods of working things out have failed.

The attached photo of B.B. King is credited to AP Photo.

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