You are probably aware that people should have a will which outlines the future of an individual’s assets. Sometimes just having a will is not enough. The quality of the will can make an enormous difference. If a will is not “air-tight”, people can have success contesting it and that can lead to an estate battle. Some estate battles can be ugly and have huge consequences. Continue reading to learn about the largest, craziest, and weirdest estate battles in United States history.
The Estate of Fred Koch – The Largest
People of note – William Koch (plaintiff), Charles and David Koch (defendants)
Fred Koch founded Koch Industries which is an energy conglomerate. He grew the company to a value estimated at $35 billion. Upon Fred Koch’s death, his sons and some Koch cousins were given portions of the fortune. In 1983, Charles and David fired William and bought his shares in the company for over $700 million. After the sale, William found out that Charles and David misrepresented the oil output of one of the refineries which cheapened his shares. Over the next 18 years, William battled the other two brothers in court claiming he was owed about $2.2 billion. Eventually, a court found the, while Charles and David did present false statements at the time, it was not enough to enforce a $2.2 billion payout.
Ted Williams – The Weirdest
People of note – Ted Williams, Ted William’s head, his three children (Ted’s, not the head’s)
Ted Williams remains one of the greatest baseball players that ever lived. He had .344 career batting average and 521 homeruns. Unfortunately, as is the case too often, amazing people do not always make amazing children. In Ted’s signed will, it states that he wished to be cremated, but he also signed a piece of scrap paper that states he wants to remain cryogenically frozen. One of Ted’s sons is quoted saying “But wouldn’t it be neat to sell Dad’s DNA? There are lots of people who would pay big bucks to have little Ted Williams running around.” Ted’s daughter and sons have been arguing for years and Ted’s headless body remains upside down in cryo tank in Arizona.
Leona Helmsley – The Furriest
People of note – Leona Helmsley’s dog, the grandchildren (Leona’s, not the dog’s)
Leona Helmsley was a real estate and hotel developer in New York City in the 70’s and 80’s. When she died in 2007, she left a fortune totaling between $5 and $8 billion. She had a will and left most of her fortune to charity. However, she also left $12 million to her dog and left her grandchildren out of the will. Her grandchildren took Sprinkles (not the dog’s real name) to court to try to get at least some of the money. Sprinkles (not the dog’s real name) was amassing bills of over $100,000 per year for security because it was receiving death threats. The court eventually awarded the grandchildren $6 million and left Sprinkles enough to keep it’s armed escort.
If you do not have a last will and testament, contact Elias Dsouza. You need an air-tight will to ensure that your assets, remains (especially your head), and your family are taken care of. Get a free consultation!