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Robert N. Getz

What can be learned from the Stuart Scott probate case?

Stuart Scott, the former ESPN announcer, died of cancer in early 2015. Ever since his death, his daughters, co-trustees, ex-wife and Disney have all been fighting about his estate. The probate process has been going on for nearly five years now, and there is concern about how much will actually be left when all the legal proceedings are done. There is a lot that Washington residents can learn from this case.

According to reports, litigation has been put on hold in the Scott case. All parties have agreed to try to work out an agreement outside of court. Why? So much of the estate has been lost having to pay for legal fees.

What is it that is being fought about? His daughters claim that the trustees are misusing funds and failing to distribute the estate as outlined in their father's estate plan. The ex-wife claims she is still owed money from the divorce. Disney claims that the ex has sued it for the money owed to her, but it already paid the funds to the trust. A judge has given them until Jan. 6, 2020, to reach a resolution before the matter goes back to court.

What can be learned from this case? Probate is not easy to get through and can take more time to finalize than expected. Not everyone will agree with how an estate is being handled.

Fights over estate administration, when handled exclusively in court, can cost everyone a lot of time and money. Those who are going through the probate process in the state of Washington do not need to let what is happening in the Scott case happen to them. There are ways to get through probate without it costing a fortune or taking years of one's life. An experienced probate attorney can assist one in addressing any issues that may arise during the administration process and help one close out their loved one's estate as quickly as possible.

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