Estate administration can take years, and the probate process is not always easy. You can keep your heirs from excessive probate burdens with comprehensive estate planning that helps reduce the chance of in-fighting or unplanned legal issues. But you can't always plan for every instance that could come up for your heirs.
One woman has filed a lawsuit related to an asset that is over 50 years old. The asset in question is an original film of the John F. Kenny assassination in Texas. The film is not the well-known Zapruder film; heirs of the person who recorded that film were previously compensated with $16 million from the federal government, say reports.
The film at the heart of the most recent lawsuit was taken by another man. Officials have said the film captures the assassination from the opposite angle of the one most Americans have seen in documentaries. The second film was reportedly used by investigators in the case, but the woman says the federal government never returned the original film to her family.
The woman filing the lawsuit is the granddaughter of the man who took the original images. According to reports, copies of the film have been released in various ways in the past, but there is no word currently on the original film. The lawsuit claims that the film is either missing, destroyed or stolen. The woman is seeking the return of the film or payment for the film. The plaintiff contends that the film is worth around $10 million.
You can't always be sure what asset in your estate will be valuable in the future. Working with an experienced representative can help you protect as many of your assets as possible for your heirs, though, making it less likely they'll have to fight future legal battles over property belonging to the estate.
Source: The Washington Post, "Lawsuit seeks return of missing JFK assassination footage," Justin Wm. Moyer, Nov. 24, 2015