The Houston probate judge who oversaw what became known as the Anna Nicole Smith case was still dealing with it 20 years later. He finally got fed up and recused himself.
Family disputes over wealthy estates can go on for a long time. If there is enough money involved and enough willingness to fight over it, then cases can be dragged on for years.
The dispute over the estate of J. Howard Marshall is an extreme example of this.
Most people know the dispute as the Anna Nicole Smith case, since she was Marshall’s much younger widow. The court room proceedings were broadcast live on TV and highlights of the day’s testimony often made the nightly news. There was enough interest in the case, that the judge at the center of it, Texas probate Judge Mike Wood, became known as the “Anna Nicole Smith judge.”
What most people do not know is that the dispute over Marshall’s estate is still going on.
The family is still fighting over it.
Judge Wood was still presiding over the matter as well. He grew so frustrated, that he begged the parties to file a motion to recuse him from the case. He got his wish eventually.
Judge Wood recently recused himself from the case, according to Law.com in “‘I Beg You to Recuse Me’: Anna Nicole Smith Judge Finally Gets His Wish.”
It is very rare for an estate fight to be so contentious and go on for so long, that a judge gets this frustrated. This shows, however, just how bad family feuds over large estates can get.
It is important to have a good estate plan in place, so that these incidents can be minimized.
Reference: Law.com (Jan. 26, 2017) “‘I Beg You to Recuse Me’: Anna Nicole Smith Judge Finally Gets His Wish.”
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