Another Celebrity Will Contest: Tom Petty’s Estate in Litigation
Tom Petty died of an accidental drug overdose at age 66, on October 2, 2017. Despite having an estate plan, his widow and his daughters from a previous marriage are now in a battle over the implementation of that plan.
Petty established the Thomas Early Petty Living Trust, which appointed his wife Dana York Petty as sole trustee – giving her control over managing the Trust assets. However, the Trust document also requires her to transfer Petty’s artistic properties into a new limited liability company, or LLC, in which Dana and Petty’s two daughters “shall be entitled to participate equally in the management.” The parties are arguing over what “participate equally” means. This is yet another example of how a lack of estate plan or a poorly drafted estate plan can cause litigation and chaos after death.