Larry King’s widow challenges legitimacy of handwritten will in estate battle – The Hollywood Reporter
Larry King’s widow pushes back her son’s efforts to take control of the deceased journalist’s estate based on an almost illegible handwritten will.
Probate battles are usually messy, but here there are a few complicating factors: a divorce was pending between Larry and Shawn Southwick King and the talk show host only learned of Larry King Jr. . than when her son was an adult. Shawn also maintains that she recently discovered that Larry had a “secret” bank account through which he gave over $ 266,000 in common money to Larry Jr. without his knowledge and she has the right to declare these gifts void and to demand that they be returned.
On February 10, Larry Jr. filed an ex parte application to become the special administrator of his father’s estate, arguing that because Shawn and his father lived apart, he should be responsible for ensuring that the bills are met. paid and protect the iconic journalist. publicity and likeness rights. To support his argument, he submitted a holograph will dated two months after King filed for divorce in 2019.
Meanwhile, on July 7, 2015, King will name Shawn the executor of her estate, and she maintains that Larry didn’t really act like he wanted a divorce. They had gone to consult after he had asked for dissolution, he was not participating in the divorce proceedings and reconciliation was on the table until his health deteriorated and it became “impractical”.
While Larry Jr. argued that King’s LK Productions and Larry King Enterprises had “locked in” with no one to handle them, Shawn says it’s just his loans and there is no actual activity. Larry Jr. also points out unpaid bills (King’s assistant and health aides are owed, for example), but Shawn says there is no money in the probate estate to pay them, because it’s all in joint bank accounts or the Larry and Shawn King 2015 Family Trust, which she controls. This trust also gives him control over King’s “personality rights”.
In this context, “holographic” means manuscript. And in California, there are very specific standards that such a document must meet to be considered valid. If the handwriting is confirmed to be that of the deceased and the document was signed later than any other will and is inconsistent with previous provisions, the court will need to determine whether the person had the capacity to make such a change.
The one-page document is embedded below. It’s dated October 17, 2019 and says he wants 100 percent (which is written above something else that had been crossed out) of his funds divided equally among his five children (two of whom are deceased since) and that it “should replace all previous writings.
Shawn argues that even though the document is valid, it doesn’t change much.
“The holographic will does not name an executor, but simply aims to change the disposition of assets subject to Larry’s will,” says his opposition filing. “The holographic will states that it should replace all previous writings. This declaration is not sufficient to revoke the previous will. At most, it shows an intention to change the regime of the device, but not to change the executor. Additionally, the holographic will violates the terms of two separate postnuptial transmutation agreements between Shawn and Larry and therefore has no legal effect.
Further, Shawn argues that “during the last years of his life Larry was very sensitive to outside influences and at the time he allegedly executed the holograph will was of questionable mental capacity, having recently suffered a stroke and over. about to undergo medical intervention (and may already be under the influence of preoperative medications).
Shawn asks the court to dismiss Larry Jr.’s request to be appointed special administrator and to deny admission of the holographic will. A hearing is currently set for February 24.