According to the New York Daily News, the wife of Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, who passed away in 2016 following a battle with cancer, and his mother are locked in a court fight over the millions left behind in "Ken Thompson's mother says she was cut out of will by late Brooklyn DA's wife."
Thompson left behind a wife, two children and his mother. In an explosive new court filing Thompson's mother, Clara Thompson, alleges that his wife, Lu-Shawn, took advantage of her son's cancer and diminished state to rewrite his will.
Clara alleges that less than two weeks before Ken Thompson passed away, a new will was created that left his entire seven-figure estate to his wife. An older will had left a substantial amount to his mother. According to Clara, Thompson wanted to provide for her as the woman who worked hard to rear him.
Allegations of marital strife between Ken and Lu-Shawn have also been raised.
At this stage of the court battle it is not possible to know who is correct and exactly what happened. Either way, it shows how when millions of dollars are involved, there are plenty of incentives to fight over it.
If the mother is right, then the wife was tempted by the money to act inappropriately. If the wife is right, then the mother was tempted by the money to file a baseless lawsuit.
If Ken Thompson did want to change his will to exclude his mother for some reason, then his best option would have been to make that clear to her.
Although that might have been an uncomfortable conversation between mother and son, it would have made a legal battle less likely. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you set up your estate plan to avoid these kinds of problems for your family after you pass away.
Reference: New York Daily News (Jan. 12, 2017) "Ken Thompson's mother says she was cut out of will by late Brooklyn DA's wife."