Turns out that even when you have a pretty good estate plan, trouble can arise after the event of your passing.
The $50 million estate of the person many believe to be the greatest boxer who ever lived, Muhammad Ali, is the subject of a bitter dispute among members of his family, according to the Daily Mail Online.
One of the primary points of contention concerns Ali’s 73-year-old brother, Rahman Ali, who, it is said, has been excluded from the champ’s will entirely.
According to Ali’s son, Muhammad Ali Jr., Uncle Rahman’s “banishment” from the estate is related to a long-running feud with his sister-in-law, Muhammad Ali’s wife, Lonnie. Lonnie and Ali, both from Louisville, Ky., knew each other since 1964, and she served as his nurse in the years leading up to their marriage in 1986.
Rahman Ali was reportedly suspicious of the relationship between Lonnie and Muhammad, although details about those suspicions are limited to speculation that Rahman thought Lonnie’s real motives behind her apparent devotion to the champ were to try to position herself to capitalize on the boxer’s estate as best as possible.
Separately, Ali Jr. says that he and his seven sisters are having it out with Asaad Ali, who was adopted by Muhammad and Lonnie Ali back in 1986. There are no substantive details as to the source of the troubles between Assad Ali and his siblings.
Notably, the legal firm handling the estate is saying that the trust in which all of Ali’s assets are contained has been in place for over ten years, and that Lonnie is merely supposed to administer the estate as it has been written.
The lesson here is not, obviously, to forgo having a solid estate plan in place. In fact, there’s probably no “lesson” here at all – some things just happen, despite the best of plans; people are unpredictable, and it is really as simple as that. That said, to the extent you can do so, if it is possible to coordinate understanding about your estate wishes among the likely heirs before you die, then so much the better. Granted, given Ali’s diminished physical capacity in his later years, doing so may have been difficult for him, but, to the extent that you can make certain those who will remain after your death know what to expect when it comes to the disposition of your assets, it’s a wise thing to do.
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