Legal fight between Tom Benson and family members brings up serious charges.

The bitter fight between New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and his daughter and grandchildren has taken a rough turn, according to ESPN in “Saints/Pelicans owner Tom Benson wants ‘zero’ left in trust to daughter, grandchildren.”

The fight between Benson and his daughter and grandchildren began in January 2015 when Benson announced he was leaving his entire estate to his third wife and cutting the daughter and grandchildren out completely. Their response was to file a lawsuit in Louisiana state court alleging that Benson was incompetent.

They lost that case. However, they have also been pursuing another lawsuit against Benson in federal court, which was triggered when Benson transferred ownership shares of his professional sports teams out of a trust set up for the benefit of the daughter and grandchildren. Benson is allowed to transfer the shares as long as he substitutes assets of equal value for them. So far, he has allegedly only offered to replace the shares with promissory notes.

A deposition taken of Benson in the state court case was supposed to be under seal, but portions of it have been leaked to the public as the trustee attached them to court filings in the federal case. In the deposition Benson stated that he wants to leave nothing in the trust.

The reason he gave for this was that his daughter and grandchildren tried to kill him. When asked how they did that Benson claimed that they picked on his wife when he was not feeling well.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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