Ali estate may be heading toward a prolonged battle
Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was one of the greatest boxers of all time. His greatness extended well beyond the ring and he will always be remembered.
Unfortunately, when Muhammad Ali passed away he left an estate that is very likely to result in prolonged and complex estate litigation. A recent story in The Guardian confirms this. There are many potential beneficiaries some of which are likely still unknown. Ali was married four times and he has nine confirmed children. There may be other unacknowledged children. These are potential beneficiaries that may bring claims against the Ali estate.
The matter is further complicated by the fact that Muhammad Ali’s fourth wife, Lonnie Ali, is the executor of the estate. Many reports suggest that she does not get along with other family members and children from Ali’s previous marriages. Whenever the executor of an estate does not get along with potential beneficiaries, litigation is likely to follow.
Ali estate is vast with many assets
As is usually the case when someone rich and famous passes away, the Ali estate was vast with many assets. Muhammad Ali earned millions of dollars throughout his boxing career. He earned five million dollars for his “Rumble in the Jungle” win over George Foreman in 1974. After his retirement, he continued earning through various endorsements and licensing deals. Ali earned through his company, GOAT LLC, meaning “Greatest of all time” LLC. The controlling share of the company was subsequently resold several times, as were the image rights associated with Muhammad Ali. Some sources have placed the value of the Ali estate conservatively at over $80 million. Nonetheless, this number is likely to increase over time as Ali’s legacy grows. It is unclear how the estate will be valuated or how the income earned by the estate will be divided among beneficiaries.
What is clear is that the beneficiaries have an interest to litigate as substantial funds and future earnings may be at stake. Additionally, the parties have the resources to litigate. They allegedly also have a history of not getting along. As a result, any future dispute may be prolonged and very nasty. Hopefully the parties will be reasonable and will not mar the legacy of one of the greatest fighters of all time. This is an interesting story to follow.
More on this story here.