Dispute over Doctor’s Multimillion Dollar Estate Headed for Trial

The fight over the multimillion-dollar estate of renowned plastic surgeon and burn treatment pioneer Richard Grossman, who died last March at age 81, is headed for trial this year amid new allegations against his widow. Previously, in a lawsuit filed in August, the doctor’s sons, Peter and Jeffrey, accused the doctor’s fourth wife, Elizabeth Grossman, of manipulating her ailing husband into leaving an inheritance believed to be worth tens of millions of dollars to her and nothing to his two children. Then, on February 10th, a new complaint against Elizabeth Grossman and her attorney, Peter Wakeman, alleged that the two interfered with a contract directing that Richard Grossman’s estimated $20-million Hidden Valley estate in Thousand Oaks, known as Brookfield Farms, go to his children and grandchildren. Instead, the lawsuit states, Elizabeth Grossman redirected the property to herself. The suit also accused the woman and her attorney of committing elder financial abuse and seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

A recent article in the Thousand Oaks (CA) Acorn, titled Battle over Grossman estate intensifies, describes the contentious fight over a noted physician’s estate between his wife and his children from a previous marriage. With all of the assets going to the wife, the children assert that the doctor had advanced dementia and wasn't able to make his own decisions.

The Grossman fortune was a result of his position as the founder of the Grossman Burn Center in Los Angeles. His medical center was one of the first to use a hyperbaric chamber to prevent infections in burn victims and speed burn recovery. Grossman retired from his practice in 2013 and died a year later. Now the lawyers for his children and his widow are disputing the doctor’s true intentions for his estate.

The children are claiming that the doctor and his wife had a prenuptial agreement when they married in 2000 that kept the property of each separate. The children are seeking to keep her from selling Grossman’s main asset, Brookfield Farms. They believe that the doctor wanted to keep the estate in his family. They want the estate to be distributed in trust for the benefit of the doctor’s grandchildren and one of his children suffering from a neurological condition who needs family support to care for him.

Whether you own a million-dollar farm or a modest home in the suburbs, avoid fights like the Grossmans’ and seek out the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure that your intentions are clear and carried out.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.    

Reference: Thousand Oaks (CA) Acorn (February 19, 2015) “Battle over Grossman estate intensifies

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment


We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.