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Recent dispute over King property illustrates need for wills

It's likely that Martin Luther King, Jr., did have a will, but from the disputes that have been a public part of his children's lives the past few years, Oklahoma residents may wonder if the will was specific enough. Estate planning is important for anyone, from historic figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., to every day citizens with family property or legacies to pass on. Planning ahead with a proper will lets heirs know what your wishes for property are.

According to recent news reports, the three surviving children of Martin Luther King, Jr., are currently in a dispute over what should be done with Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize medal and Bible. His daughter was apparently in possession of both items when estate attorneys requested that she provide the items to the sons. The two sons allegedly want to sell the items, but Dr. King's daughter disagrees with that course of action.

A lawyer for the daughter reportedly refused to turn over the Bible and medal when an attorney for the sons made a request. The lawyer called the items culturally significant and stated that they would continue to be significant in years to come. The attorney for the brothers stated that interested entities want to lease or purchase the items to display to the public. He stated that the offers would not remain on the table long, so he recommended that the items be turned over immediately.

Both of the attorneys presented these thoughts before a judge. Though the judge stated the estate would likely win the case, no final decision has been made. The judge did indicate he would order the items kept in a court-controlled safe deposit box until the matter is resolved.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Court To Control Martin Luther King Jr.'s Bible And Nobel Peace Prize As King Children Continue Legal Dispute" Kate Brumback, Feb. 20, 2014

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