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Deceased Chest Champion May Soon Rest in Peace

Bobby Fischer, the former world chess champion, died in 2008 and yet the fight over his estate goes on. You may remember Bobby Fischer won the world chess championship in 1972 when he beat the Russian Boris Spassky in Iceland during the period of the cold war.

Fischer was born in the United States but was living in Iceland when he died in 2008 with no will. Four individuals were fighting over his probate estate, said to be worth between $2 and $3 million. Two are Fischer’s nephews Alexander and Nicholas Targ who live in California. The third is Marilyn Young who claims to have a daughter by him, named Jinky Young. Fischer had apparently been giving Jinky’s mother money for Jinky’s support and wrote postcards to the child which he signed as “Daddy.” The fourth is Miyoko Watai, a Japanese woman who married Fischer in 2004 and therefore is his widow.

To resolve the issue of the competing claims, the Court in Iceland ordered that Fischer’s body be exhumed to obtain a DNA specimen to determine if Jinky Young is in fact his daughter. Those results showed that she was not his daughter so then the contest continued between the widow Miyoko Watai and the two nephews. In March of this year, the court in Iceland ruled that his Japanese widow is his heir and entitled to his estate. The new nephews had claimed that the widow did not produce sufficient documentation that they were married and may appeal the court’s ruling.

Once again these kinds of will contests occur because seemingly intelligent and knowledgeable people do not create an estate plan. This protracted litigation could have been avoided had Fischer had a will or better yet, a trust. You don’t need to be wealthy to need a trust. Evem people with a small to moderate estate can benefit from a trust. A trust not only provides for the distribution of your estate upon your death but also has provisions for any periods of incapacity and provisions for the care of your minor children should something happen to you. Contact us at Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation to set up an appointment to get started on your estate plan.

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