The process of dividing up an estate after a death is a process steeped in the trauma of losing a loved one, and it can sometimes come with its own unexpected complications. The recent death – by apparent suicide – of Hollywood producer Steve Bing shows just how difficult and tangled the situation can become in situations when there are many competing interests at work within a family, or a large sum of money on the line.
The beginning of Steve Bing's story as a Hollywood power player began with an inheritance, News.com.au explained, as the producer was willed $600 million by his own grandfather. Now that Bing has died, members of his own family are likely to intensify their claims on his fortune – children from various partners began coming forward to assert their rights to his estate even when he was alive.
Steve Bing's father Dr. Peter Bing has been engaged in a court battle with two of Steve's children who have sought a stake in the family trust. Some of the assertions, including that the children should be excluded because they were born outside of marriage, have already been thrown out by courts. One of those children was subject to another celebrity inheritance dispute when she inherited just $8.5 million of a $4.2 billion fortune from media figure Kirk Kerkorian, who established via a private detective that Steve Bing, not he, was her biological father.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Steve Bing did argue on his children's behalf to help them inherit a share of his fortune, an about-face from initially suggesting he was not their father. He never met his son at all, and he and his daughter only met when they were adults. This has created a complex web of claims and counter-claims that could embroil his estate for years to come.
While making a will, it pays to ensure you are working with experts. After all, creating any ambiguity, doubt or legal issues around the estate can lead to difficulties after the fact. These matters only become more complex when family relationships are strained, or there are those who are related by blood but estranged in their day-to-day life.
On the other side of the equation, if you feel you are being unfairly excluded from a family member's will, you also need experts on your side to advance your claim. Reach out to Gerard Malouf & Partners' experts at 1800 004 878 or email your enquiry.