In a previous post about the legal wranglings surrounding the Marlon Brando Estate, I discussed a couple of the highlights, including claims of a forged will, sexual harassment, broken promises and more. Those were the tip of the iceberg.
A recent New York Times article discusses that, dating back to the time shortly before the legendary actor died at age 80, on July 1, 2004, his trust and estate have been involved in 26 different lawsuits. The latest is a challenge initiated by his three trustees against the Broadcast Center Apartments in Hollywood for featuring a "'Brando suite".
The trustees worry about the commercial value of Brando's name and image. They are forming Brando Enterprises, with the goal of "protecting and managing the Brando brand." Among the projects planned -- a condo complex in the South Pacific (ecologically friendly of course), with a price tag of between $50 and $100 million.
Sort of ironic. Brando trustee and movie producer Mike Medavoy brags about the pride Brando took in not commercializing himself in life. While Brando Enterprises do the same?
In the meantime, the probate and commercial litigation attorneys employed by the Brando Estate and Trust will stay busy.
4/22/09 Update -- The New York Times has an interesting editorial about the trustee's efforts to commercialize the Brando legacy.
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.Follow us on Google+