Petty Estate is the subject of a bitter legal battle
A recent story online outlines the current dispute involving the estate of the deceased musician Tom Petty. He died on October 2, 2017 at the age of 66. The Petty estate dispute places his widow, Dana Petty, against his two daughters from his first marriage. Dana has commenced a case in LA County Court accusing the daughters of interfering with the management of the Petty Estate.
The Court filings allege that one of the daughters, Adria, has been abusive towards individuals and companies managing her father’s legacy. Additionally, the Court filings allege that Adria’s behavior delayed the release of a greatest hits record. Furthermore, Adria’s behavior allegedly stopped the re-issuing of her father’s album titled “Wildflowers”.
In response, Adria has alleged that Dana has attempted to bar the sisters from any decision-making with respect to the estate. Specifically, Dana is alleged to have failed to place assets into a company established under Tom Petty’s will. Dana had to do this within six months of Tom’s death. As a result, the sisters have been unable to have any control over the management of their father’s legacy. The parties have not proved their allegations in Court. This dispute is in its early stages. More details will likely surface with time.
Petty estate among many estates of stars involved in legal battles
As I have written before, estate disputes among the beneficiaries of a deceased star musician are not uncommon. The estates of Prince, Jimi Hendrix, and Aretha Franklin were also involved in disputes. These disputes often involve publishing rights and tens of millions of dollars in future earnings.
In some cases, these legal battles can drag on for many years under constant media scrutiny. The legal costs to the parties can be tremendous. Furthermore, the dispute often overshadows the artist’s legacy. Fans may remember more about their beloved artist’s legal battle than their accomplishments.
High-profile disputes involving the estates of the wealthy and famous can serve as good lessons. It is critical to have an updated estate plan in place with clear instructions with respect to its execution. A proper estate plan is often the difference between fans cherishing a beloved star after death, or a costly legal battle where embarrassing details about the star are revealed in Court.
More on this story here.