Understanding Their Father’s Estate Plan Provides Closure for Sons

Fred thompsonNaturally, Fred Thompson’s son had questions when they discovered that more than $40,000 of legal work was done while their father was in hospice to change his estate plan and beneficiaries.

Last summer, Tony and Dan Thompson filed a lawsuit alleging that their step-mother, Jeri, influenced their father at the end of his life to make changes in his will. The sons said the last-minute legal work concerned them. When they tried to ask privately for answers, they received none, so they filed suit.

Public statements and court documents show that the family fight arose from a bill a law firm filed against Thompson's estate. Recently, the Nashville probate judge ordered Jeri to deliver the documents that related to Thompson's assets and estate planning.

After seeing those documents, the boys had a change of heart and dismissed their suit.

They stated that they were satisfied that their father's final wishes were followed. They added that they were ready to move forward and were grateful that their dad finally had a tombstone. They hoped the executor would take care of the remaining obligations, so they could all move on.

Fred Thompson served Tennessee as a Republican in the United States Senate from 1994 to 2003. He also had a leading part on the television show "Law and Order."

Thompson passed away in November 2015 at the age of 73. He married Jeri in 2002. Tony and Dan Thompson are his children from a previous marriage.

Jeri Thompson's lawyer said that the legal battle was an unfounded embarrassment to the late senator and actor.

The sons dismissed their case in late March, according to court records.

"Their claims do not, and never did, have any legal or factual merit," said Bill Ramsey, Jeri Thompson's lawyer. "They misread, intentionally or otherwise, descriptions in legal bills that never should have been filed with the court. Estate planning is often about far more than legal documents. A good estate planning attorney knows this. My personal opinion is that the attorney should have advised his client to answer Mr. Thompson's sons' questions.  What do you think?

Reference: The Tennessean (April 3, 2017) “Dispute over Sen. Fred Thompson's estate ends”


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