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Dispute Over Maya Angelou’s Estate

Dispute Over Maya Angelou’s Estate

In recent decades, students all over America have studied Maya Angelou’s poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in school. It was the late poet’s best known work.

She is also remembered for her recitation at President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration. Angelou might be one of the few modern poets that the majority of people in the U.S. recognize by name.

She directed that her assets, including the copyrights to her works, should be put into a foundation called the “Caged Bird Legacy” after she passed away.

Angelou gave a 75% interest in the foundation to her son Guy Bailey Johnson and a 25% interest to her grandson Colin Ashanti Murphy-Johnson. The son is suing the grandson, according to the Courthouse News in “Maya Angelou’s Son, Grandson Fight Over Poet’s Legacy.”

The son claims his own son is attempting to cheat him out of his proper share of her legacy.

The son’s claim is that the grandson tricked him into giving up control of Caged Bird Legacy and now the grandson is taking assets out of the of the foundation for his own use, without giving his father his fair share.

It is too soon to know whether the son or the grandson is in the right or wrong in this case.

It is another example of a fight over a valuable estate and why it is sometimes better not to leave family members in charge.

Sometimes, it is better have independent oversight when it comes to valuable estate assets.

Reference: Courthouse News (Nov. 6, 2017) “Maya Angelou’s Son, Grandson Fight Over Poet’s Legacy.”

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