Some of our readers may already be familiar with the sad saga of actor Mark Salling. The actor gained prominence on the television show "Glee." However, in Dec. 2015, he made headlines for another reason.
Salling was charged with child pornography possession. He pleaded guilty to the charges and was scheduled to be sentenced to anywhere from four to seven years behind bars when he hanged himself on Jan. 30.
The child porn charges weren't the only problems Salling was facing when he took his life. An ex-girlfriend had sued the actor, claiming that in 2011 he forcibly engaged in unprotected sex with her. They reached a $2.7 million settlement.
However, she had not received the money when Salling died. Therefore, she asked a Los Angeles Superior Court judge for permission to administer Salling's estate in a limited capacity. In her petition, she asked "that she be appointed with limited authority (and) that she not have authority to take possession of money or property without a court order." She acknowledged that she didn't know the value of the estate.
The judge denied the request, saying that the woman provided "insufficient" evidence that she should have a role in the estate's administration. However, his ruling didn't preclude her from petitioning again.
The ex-girlfriend's multi-million-dollar settlement may not be the only claim on the estate. Law enforcement found over 50,000 pornographic images featuring children in Salling's possession. However, attorneys disagree about whether those victims could make a claim for damages on Salling's estate since he died before he was sentenced for his crimes.
It wasn't reported whether Salling had a will or any type of estate plan when he died or, if so, whether anyone had been designated to administer it.
Obviously, Salling's life and death were more complicated and conflicted than most people's. However, it's wise for all adults, and particularly those with significant assets, to have a valid estate plan. California estate planning attorneys help people determine what documents their plan should include.
Source: Los Angeles Patch, "Judge Denies Mark Salling's Ex-Girlfriend's Petition For Estate," April 12, 2018