Law and Disorder: The Jerry Orbach Estate Battle

Jerry Orbach, who starred as Detective Lennie Briscoe in the popular “Law and Order” television series, died a decade ago, but a battle is brewing over his Chase bank account, according to a recent story in the New York Post.

The Chase bank account in dispute belongs to Orbach’s Mingoya Productions company, and is currently under the control of the actor’s former accountant, Patricia M. Black.  Orbach added Black as a signatory to the company’s account a year before he died in 2004.

Black also served as executor of the estate of Orbach’s wife Elaine, who inherited his entire estate and who died in 2009.  After Elaine died, her sister, Rita Hubbard, replaced Black as executor.  Hubbard contacted Chase to inform them of the change in executor and request that Black be cut off from access to the account.

Chase says that Black has not responded to its many phone calls and letters, and is unwilling to turn the account over to Hubbard because it is unsure who is the rightful owner of the account since it has no proof that Elaine was ever a co-owner of Mingoya Productions.

Hubbard’s attorney says that Elaine’s estate is the sole owner of Mingoya Productions, and is therefore the rightful owner of the account.

A lawsuit has been filed in Manhattan to resolve the dispute.

This is the unfortunate effect of not having your estate planning set up properly.  Many, many years after your death, your loved ones could still be dealing with the fall out.

Unlike many lawyers, we have specific procedures for ensuring your family doesn’t get stuck dealing with the Court when something happens to you.

As a Personal Family Lawyer®, I can further advise you on all your options and make things as easy as possible for your family during a Family Wealth Planning Session.  If you would like to have a talk about estate planning for your family, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.

To your family’s health, wealth and happiness!

David Feakes

P.S.  Want to get started on the most important planning you’ll ever do for your family?  Give our office a call at (978) 263-6900 to get started.  You’ll be so glad you did.

David Feakes is the owner of The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC – a law firm for families in the Acton, Massachusetts area.  David helps parents protect the people they love the most.  If you would like to receive David’s exclusive, free report, “Six Major Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An Estate Planning Attorney,”  you can get it right here.

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