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Will Jerry Lewis’s will lead to probate litigation?

Actor and comedian Jerry Lewis recently died, leaving many relatives and fans anxious to learn more about his will. That information has since been published and it begs the question whether the contents of the will might lead to probate litigation. It’s a highly complex situation and not everyone is happy about Lewis’s final instructions. Illinois residents currently facing similar issues may be very interested in the story.

Lewis, who entertained people throughout the nation and world for many decades, apparently signed a final will and testament in 2012, quite some time before he died of heart failure at age 91. In his will, he explicitly stated that he was officially disinheriting all his sons and their descendants. He also states that his entire estate, estimated in value at $50 million, is to be given to his adopted daughter and his widow.

A rather complicated situation has arisen involving a homeless woman in another state who reportedly has DNA confirmation showing she is also Lewis’s biological child. Those weighing in on the topic say Lewis likely did not mention her in his will because he never publicly admitted she was his child. However, since she is not disinherited in the will as Lewis’s sons are, it is possible that she could contest the will and request a share of his inheritance.

Jerry Lewis is definitely not the first parent to disinherit children in a final will and testament. Many such cases in Illinois have led to probate litigation in the past. The outcome of the Lewis family situation remains to be seen. Anyone in need of help to overcome such problems in this state can enlist the aid of an experienced estate planning and administration attorney.

Source: wealthmanagement.com, “Jerry’s Kids Get Cut Out … Or Do They?“, David H. Lenok, Sept. 22, 2017

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