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Filmmaker's untimely death causes legal battles

When a Texas resident creates a will, its terms determine how some or all of a person's assets are distributed upon his or her death. Although John Singleton had a will, it was created in 1993 and was not updated once it was executed. At that time, only one of Singleton's six children was alive and included in the will. Therefore, his other siblings could potentially be denied a share of their father's assets.

Another question that needs to be answered relates to the value of his estate. While it is estimated to be worth $35 million, only $3.8 million has been accounted for to date. It is unclear whether Singleton had a trust for his kids or if there is any other explanation as to where the assets went. However, one of the children says that Singleton's mother may be attempting to keep the children from their father's estate.

There is reason to believe that she is the executor of the estate, which would give her significant control over what happens to his assets. If the children do try to take legal action, there may multiple court battles that take place. This is because the children may have to go up against both their grandmother and each other to resolve questions related to how the estate should be divided.

Having a valid will or trust may make it possible to avoid family conflicts after passing. It is also important that these documents are updated as necessary so that they reflect an individual's true intentions. In addition to preventing family strife, having an estate plan may limit creditor claims to assets such as homes or retirement accounts.

Source: Newsone, "Who Gets John Singleton's Money? Family Fights Over Filmmaker's Will", 05/07/2019

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