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Peter Falk case update: The fight is on!

As I discussed in a previous post about Peter Falk's daughter filing for guardianship / conservatorship over him, due to his Alzheimer's disease, guardianship and conservatorship cases involving second-marri age situations always have the potential for conflict.  In my metro-Detroit probate litigation practice, I see fighting between the current spouse and adult children from a prior marriage all the time in these types of probate cases.  That's why I wrote in my earlier post that Peter Falk's case could lead to trouble.Peter Falk 3 

Unfortunately for the Falk family, I was correct.  As the Associated Press reported in this recent article, Peter Falk's wife of 32 years, Shera Falk, hired an attorney and contested the conservatorship filing by Peter's daughter, Catherine Falk.  Shera claims that Peter already made arrangements for her to care for him, and he gets round-the-clock nursing care.  Catherine in turn alleges that Shera has prevented her from seeing her father since last Father's Day. 


Watch for more fireworks starting next week, when the feuding Falk family members and their lawyers will first appear in court on this case.  My advice from years of experience in these exact cases -- the family will be better off if a settlement is reached early, before the emotions run even higher.  If Peter named his wife to care for him through proper Power of Attorney documents, then his wishes should be respected.  But, his daughter should be allowed to visit and have a relationship with him during the final stage of his life.

Let's hope for all of their sakes that their attorneys will help them see reason and end this lawsuit early. 

Posted by:  Author and probate attorney Andrew W. Mayoras, co-author of Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights! and co-founder and shareholder of The Center for Probate Litigation and The Center for Elder Law in metro-Detroit, Michigan, which concentrate in probate litigation, estate planning, and elder law.  You can email him at awmayoras @ brmmlaw.com.

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