Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The 'Hot Dog' Estate Battle

A bitter estate battle over the company that makes Johnston County's trademark fire-engine red hot dogs troubles the faithful leaving Cricket Grill with grease-stained paper bags stuffed with their lunchtime favorite.

The dispute over the estate of John "Buck" Jones, the majority shareholder and president of Carolina Packers, centers on who will control this home-grown culinary institution -- the widow Jones named as his sole heir just before he died or the three longtime employees who friends say in court documents Jones hoped would run the company.

At issue are his state of mind in his final days, his stormy relationship with his wife and the trail of wills he left behind.

Joe McLeod, the executor of a will that names the longtime employees as beneficiaries, claims in a lawsuit that Jones' wife of 47 years, Jean Lassiter Jones, coerced her husband into leaving her control of the company in a new will made a month before he died. At least one of the three employees is backing the suit filed by McLeod, who was the Joneses' accountant. McLeod is pursuing the case to uphold his client's wishes, his lawyer said.

Jean Jones is defending the final will, insisting that her husband's last-minute change of heart was sincere.

Full Article and Source:
What did the hot-dog man will?

More information:
Legal Battle Over Who Controls ‘Carolina Packers’ Hot Dogs


belicoso said...

Regardless of what people's feelings might be in hindsight, the courts should respect whatever properly executed estate planning documents were in place at the man's death. When we start getting into who we think the deceased would have wanted things to go to rather than just following the plans he left then we are doing him a disservice. This sort of case has come along in any number of ways, the most famous being with Anna Nicole Smith and her billionaire husband J. Howard Marshall. Marshall willfully omitted Anna from his estate planning and yet after he died she challenged the estate as if she were entitled to something. This sort of greed has gotten out of control, and so I say that if the parties cannot act as mature adults then we must take emotions out of the game and simply read the will of the deceased and move forward with their wishes.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the court should stand with the advance directives in place at time of death.

Once again, the lawyers will benefit from all this.

Anonymous said...

In the end, it's all about the money.

We come into this world with nothing, we leave with nothing but in many instances others will fight over what we leave behind.