Stuart Scott, the beloved ESPN anchor, died in early 2015 after losing his battle with cancer. Ever since his death, his ex-wife, his daughters and Disney have been fighting about the handling of his estate. Nearly five years into this legal battle, estate litigation in this case has been put on hold over fears that continuing on this path will leave his daughters with nothing. This case is eye-opening in many ways and a good example of what can happen if fights over estate administration, whether it occurs in Oregon or elsewhere, is allowed to drag on.
According to reports, Scott placed his assets in a trust with instructions to make scheduled payouts to his daughters. His beneficiaries are claiming that the co-trustees have failed in their duty to administer the trust according to the terms set by their father and have been taking money for themselves. As such, Scott’s daughters have filed lawsuits against the co-trustees.
On top of the claims against the co-trustees, Scott’s ex-wife is seeking over $162 thousand from the estate. She says this is money owed her as part of her divorce settlement. Disney supposedly paid the money to the estate instead of her. She has filed claims against the estate and Disney in an effort to collect what is owed to her. This, in turn, caused Disney to filed counter suits against Mr. Scott’s ex and his estate.
Estate litigation can drag on for years on end, but it doesn’t have to. In the Scott case, lawsuits were put on hold in favor of negotiating. Working through estate administration matters outside of court can result in swift resolution at a fraction of the cost. It is certainly something to consider when closing out an estate in Oregon. However, it is always wise to have legal counsel in one’s corner who is ready to take the matter to court if doing so becomes necessary.