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Helping You Navigate Complex Legal Issues

Media mogul and ex-girlfriend battle for control over his care

Gregory A. Lang

The circumstances surrounding one’s life in Hennepin can change from year-to-year, month-to-month, and even day-to-day. The tricky thing that he or she must remember to do is amend his or her estate planning documents along with those changes. Oftentimes, they reflect the end of a relationship between two people. Depending on how things end, one side may want to rethink his or her decision to include the other in his or her estate plans. Acting upon such thoughts quickly may just be the key to protecting oneself if the other side of such a relationship attempts to use his or her assumed role in the estate to force his or her way back into the picture.

Media mogul Sumner Redstone appears to be facing such a scenario as his attorneys work to block attempts by his former girlfriend to assume control of his care. The elderly owner of National Amusements Inc., which controls media giants CBS and Viacom, had assigned medical decision-making privileges to the woman in past estate planning documents. However, once the relationship ended, Redstone was quick to change those documents and pass that control on to a business partner. His former companion is alleging that recent health complications have left Sumner unable to comprehend such a decision, and therefore asking that her authority over his care be reinstated. Yet Sumner’s own legal team is countering her claims with doctors’ reports showing that Sumner is currently in good health and completely in control of his mental faculties.

Staying on top of one’s estate planning documents helps ensure his or her protection from unwanted intrusions back into his or her life. An experienced estate planning attorney may be a good source of assistance to turn when the time comes to make estate changes.

Source: “Court fight erupts over care of media mogul Sumner Redstone” McCartney, Anthony, Nov. 25, 2015

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