David Howard Goldberg, P.L.

Tom Petty's heirs agree on estate administration

Handling the affairs of a loved one who has died can be time-consuming and frustrating. Florida families may feel many emotions and not know where to begin when the time comes to deal with a departed loved one's assets. However, estate administration for a celebrity may have added complexities.

Rock legend Tom Petty died suddenly in Oct. 2017. Since then, his surviving family members have been in dispute about which of them should handle the administration of his substantial estate. Petty's more than 40 years in the entertainment business resulted in an estate that includes song royalties, intellectual property and the potential for future income from unreleased recordings and compilations. Petty also supported a variety of charitable causes.

The dispute involved Petty's two daughters from his first marriage against his widow. The widow claimed Petty wanted her to have sole responsibility for managing the assets within the estate. The daughters argued that their father wanted the three women to equally share that decision-making authority. After almost two years of legal wrangling, Petty's survivors agreed to form the Tom Petty Legacy LLC, providing each woman with an equal share in the management of the singer's estate.

Petty's family is certainly not unique in its complex makeup and diverse opinions. Those families in Florida who are facing similar conflicts with a loved one's estate may be confused about how to resolve the issues as peacefully as Petty's family eventually did. With the help of a skilled attorney who is sensitive to the high emotions at these difficult times, families may have a better chance of reaching their goals.

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