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Tom Petty’s daughters and widow battle over control of trust

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2019 | Estate Planning And Probate

New York City residents may be reminded time and time again through advertisements, media and word of mouth exactly how important it is to see their estate planning while they still can. This emphasis may prompt the question of why estate planning is so important given that all it entails is ensuring that one’s debts are paid and their remaining assets given to those they wish. Yet while that may be all that is needed in many situations, cases involving intangible properties (such as songs, art and writings) will often require continued management to ensure that they are not used without permission. If such scenarios, one will want to ensure that those managing the estate can effectively work together.

That does not appear to be what is happening in the case of the estate of the late singer Tom Petty. His widow was made directing trustee of his trust upon his death in 2017, yet the terms of the trust also state that his daughters have a right to equal participation in the management of the trust. They have taken that to mean that they have equal say in how items such as Petty’s music catalog are used. Despite one of the daughters claiming that she feels nothing but love towards Petty’s widow, the pair have sued her in order to assume the control the are owed per the trust.

Disputes such as this one may often arise from a lack of clarity in one’s estate planning instruments. Being transparent throughout the estate planning process may help keep such disputes from ever happening. Those needing assistance with this may find it in the form of a reliable estate planning attorney.