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Estate-wise, this is not exactly what famed rocker intended

What has been written about iconic rock star Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, who died in 1995, literally fills volumes of material. Most descriptors portray the legendary industry figure as a conflict-averse and laid-back person.

Given such a personality, the artist would unquestionably be stunned and dismayed by the persistent battles that have centered on his sizable and diverse estate over the years, were he alive today to ponder what has transpired in the wake of his executor selection.

One of Garcia's songs is Hell in a Bucket. Arguably, those words serve just fine to underscore the state of his estate owing to what one recent media focus terms the "messy circumstances" that centrally mark it.

Most notable is the conflict that ensued and has been steadily apparent from the moment that Garcia appointed his last wife -- spouse number three -- as his executor (personal representative) two-plus decades ago. His expectation was that she would protect the interests of his ex-spouses and several children.

She was "the worst person he could have picked" states a writer focusing on the rock star's estate for the online legal company Lexology. She refused to let Garcia's ex-spouses attend his funeral. She became embroiled in litigation concerning spousal payments. And she has been challenged repeatedly by beneficiaries on various matters.

Candidly, and especially in hindsight, Garcia's estate problems don't seem too surprising. Turbulence can feature in the administration of virtually any estate, and Garcia's is marked by comparatively high wealth, including singular assets relating to musical rights.

We note in a recent blog post the complexity and unanticipated issues that can arise for many estates when questions and challenges are lobbed at appointed executors.

Indeed, we stress in our October 13 entry that a personal representative can be greatly assisted in carrying out estate duties, while simultaneously minimizing legal liabilities, by enlisting timely and on-point help from a seasoned estate administration attorney.

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The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen
21 Central Street
Andover, MA 01810

Phone: 978-494-6730
Phone: 978-409-1928
Fax: 978-849-8212
Map & Directions

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We are in a 1700s Colonial located on the intersection between Brook Street, Central Street and Essex Street in historic downtown Andover, Massachusetts. The parking lot entrance is located on Brook Street, which is a one-way. From Central, turn down Essex Street. Before reaching the railroad tracks, when you see the St. Augustine Church on your right, take a sharp left turn on to Brook Street, which will turn you back toward Central Street. As you ascend the hill back toward Central Street, you will see large stone pillars on either side of the entrance to our parking lot. We have assigned parking spaces numbered 7 and 10.

From the parking lot, you may take the stairs located on the rear, left-side of the building up to the garden area, where the foyer entrance to our office is located. You can also follow the sidewalk on Brook Street up to Central Street, walk along Central Street past the main house entrance (with a wrought iron gate across the walk way) to an opening in the wrought iron fence, in to the garden area where the foyer entrance to our office is located.