Music fans in Illinois and across the country enjoyed the music of Tom Petty while he was alive. However, he is in the news after his death because of alleged impropriety by his widow. According to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County court, she engaged in a breach of her fiduciary duty along with several other named and unnamed parties. Specifically, she reportedly failed to fund an LLC called Petty Unlimited as directed in his will.
The LLC was to be funded from a trust created prior to his death, and the funds were to be split between his widow and his two daughters. However, money was instead diverted to another LLC called Tom Petty Legacy. According to the lawsuit, it was created as a means of keeping assets out of Petty Unlimited. An attorney for the LLC says that the lawsuit was filed after attempts were made to resolve the matter outside of court.
It asks that compensatory damages of more than $5 million be paid to the defendant in addition to punitive and other forms of compensation. It also asks for an injunction to prevent the defendants and other related parties from interfering in future business opportunities. An attorney for the widow says that the lawsuit is without merit.
An individual who feels as if the wishes of a deceased person are not being respected may initiate a will contest or other legal action. This might result in a trustee being replaced or damages being paid to one or more parties. An attorney may review estate plan documents to determine if a violation has occurred. Will contests generally take place during probate while trusts may be contested at any time as their terms are generally effective before and after a person dies.