Just because you are "family" does not mean you get along.
In fact, to paraphrase Chuck Swindoll, God gave us the gift of family because He wants us to associate with people we may not like or with whom we have nothing in common.
For his part, author John Steinbeck was not known for happy endings in his books.
Seems the same could be said for his own life and death.
His son and step-daughter did not get along.
According to a recent article in The Daily Business Review titled “Steinbeck Stepdaughter Wins $13M in Suit Over Movie Rights,” their arguments lasted even after the death of Steinbeck’s son.
Waverly Kaffaga brought a lawsuit against the estate of her step-brother Thomas, his widow Gail, and their company.
Creative rights to the works of Steinbeck, of course.
Waverly claims the two had interfered with movie deals.
This would have been costly to the estate of her mother Elaine who was the third wife of Steinbeck.
What was the result?
The jury ruled in favor of Waverly Kaffaga.
They awarded her $7.9 million in punitive damages and $5.25 million in compensatory damages.
This was argument was costly both emotionally and financially.
No one wants this to be a part of his or her legacy.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Daily Business Review (September 7, 2017) “Steinbeck Stepdaughter Wins $13M in Suit Over Movie Rights”