We often write on our blog about issues that celebrities run into when their wills are made public after their death. Due to their large estates, thanks to a lifetime of movie star salaries, there can be bitter fights among heirs. The estate of screen legend Mickey Rooney, who died recently at age 93, is experiencing some of these issues — although his estate wasn’t nearly as large as some people might have expected it to be.
Rooney, who appeared in productions from the 1920s through the present day, only has around $18,000 in his estate to be distributed. In recent years, he had fought public battles over money matters with the children of his wife, to whom he had been married for more than three decades. His most recent will , which the actor signed only a few weeks before he died, did not include his estranged wife or one of her children, nor does it include the actor’s eight biological children and two stepchildren from previous marriages.
Instead, the entire estate was left to his wife’s other son, who was his caretaker after Rooney and his wife separated in 2012. According to the actor’s conservator, Rooney’s other children were in a better financial position than he was. He chose to award his stepson the sum of his estate because he appreciated his efforts in being his caretaker.
There may yet be legal action from Rooney’s estranged wife and her son regarding the disposition of Rooney’s remains. Such a case can serve to remind people about the need to get affairs in order before death, so that those who are left behind are not bickering afterwards.
Source: CNN, ” With not much in Mickey Rooney’s estate, fight possible over his remains ,” Alan Duke, April 9, 2014