Unpublished Papers

Fame, Family Feuds, Lack of Estate Planning and Ethical Misconduct in the Administration of the Billion Dollar Legacy of Bob Marley.

McKen V. Carrington, Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Christopher Ogolla, Texas Southern University

Abstract

This paper uses the story of the estate of musician Bob Marley to illuminate the problems of family feuds, lack of estate planning and ethical misconduct of lawyers involved in estate planning. It discusses Marley’s family structure arguing that his blended family relationships were a recipe for legal confusion after he passed away. The paper notes that his wife, Rita, who was the custodial mother of the many Marley children, later ended up misappropriating funds from the estate and breaching her fiduciary duty. The paper avers that this was partly due to the Jamaican intestacy system which would have given her ten percent of Marley’s estate outright and a life interest in another 45 percent of it, therefore, denying her greater share of the estate. The paper then discusses the criminal conduct of Marley’s attorney vis-a-vis unique challenges faced by estate planning attorneys. It discusses the Model Rules of Professional Conduct violated by the attorney, but notes that the Model Rules do not adequately address the unique set of problems faced by estate planning attorneys. It calls for standards of professional responsibility among estate planning lawyers that are specific enough to allow them to assist clients with transferring property without potential ethical violations. The paper concludes by noting that although Marley’s lack of estate planning may have cost his heirs significant amounts in litigation costs, his legacy is well cemented because his message was part cultural, spiritual, commercial and political.

Suggested Citation

McKen V. Carrington and Christopher Ogolla. 2011. "Fame, Family Feuds, Lack of Estate Planning and Ethical Misconduct in the Administration of the Billion Dollar Legacy of Bob Marley." ExpressO
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mcken_carrington/1

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