Wisconsin Man, Penpal Fight Over Manson Estate

Discussing a Document

A Wisconsin man who claims that notorious California cult leader Charles Manson, who orchestrated the gruesome Manson Family murders in the 1960s, was his biological grandfather recently filed paperwork challenging a will Manson allegedly wrote giving his estate to a long-time penpal. The legal moves could set up months of courtroom sparring between the two sides and potentially other biological heirs who Manson allegedly disinherited from his estate in the will produced by the California penpal.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge will first have to rule on the appropriate venue to hear the challenges over the estate, including who would be entitled to Manson’s property, money, image, and song catalog. Manson died at a hospital in Kern County in November but was incarcerated in Corcoran State Prison in neighboring Kings County. His supposed heir believes Los Angeles to be the proper venue to hear the probate proceedings as Manson lived there before he was imprisoned for orchestrating the 1969 killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and eight other people.

In the will produced by the man who befriended Manson, the deceased specifically disinherited two known sons and any other unknown children but left the penpal all the rights to the estate and his body. It is believed Manson specifically asked the will holder to find burial arrangements alternative to that of the cremation process California state prisons take if an inmate dies without a party to accept responsibility for the deceased’s burial.

Value of Manson Estate Remains Unclear as Deadlines to Challenge Will Draw Near

Under California state law, any surviving heirs or other interested parties will have 120 days from the will’s filing to contest the estate and possibly make claims to Manson’s likeness and song catalog, the latter of which has only been sparsely used. While acts like The Beach Boys and Guns N Roses have recorded versions of Manson’s songs, proceeds to some of those numbers have gone to the families of victims slain in the Sharon Tate murders.

While media reports indicate that there are potentially other interested parties expected to join in contesting the two-page last will and testament, it remains unclear just what the value of the estate may be or what the motivations are for such legal moves. Manson spent his last 45 years in jail after sending followers known as the “Manson Family” to commit gruesome murders. In the summer of 1969 when he directed his mostly young, female-followers to murder seven people, including director Roman Polanski’s wife Sharon Tate

Madison Trust and Estate Lawyers

The estate lawyers of Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners, LLC practice law in the areas of probate, wills, estate planning, and trusts. We assist clients in and around Madison, Wisconsin with all matters related to estate planning, trusts, and probate matters. Our dedicated attorneys will even make house calls if you are unable to come to our office.

Contact our office by calling (608) 344-5491 to schedule a consultation or use our online contact form.

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