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Estate Administration Issue Resolved for Whitney Houston's Family


Most New York residents hope to prevent legal disputes among family members when they die. However, even when a person's wishes are specified in a will or trust, they can still be disputed in court. This was the case for the family of the late singer Whitney Houston. Cissy Houston, Whitney's mother and co-executor to her estate (along with Pat Houston, Whitney's longtime manager and president of her vast estate), believed that the inheritance payment schedule for Whitney's only child, daughter Bobbi Kristina, was too much in too short an amount of time. This estate administration issue has now been resolved.

Cissy Houston had filed papers to have the distribution of assets changed. Cissy and Bobbi Kristina have reached an agreement. No changes were made to the agreement that Whitney had specified in her will. Bobbi Kristina, who is currently 19 years old, will inherit $20 million in three payments. She will receive $2 million when she turns 21 and $4 million at age 25. At age 50, she will receive the remainder of the money.

An executor is someone who is either named in a will or appointed by a judge to take legal responsibility for settling the deceased person's finances. The executor is obligated to carry out the instructions in the will, including distributing assets. The executor also must pay bills and taxes and maintain any real estate until the estate is settled.

Most wills and estates are relatively straightforward and do not require the executor to have a law degree or any specialized knowledge. However, disputes can still happen against the wishes of the deceased person's will. When this happens, the will can end up contested in court.

Source: BET, "Cissy Houston and Bobbi Kristina Resolve Estate Issues," Clarissa Simpson, Oct. 29, 2012