Ohio fans of singer Bobby Vee may be interested in learning that his four children are arguing over his estate. The singer, born Robert Velline, died from Alzheimer’s on Oct. 24, 2016, shortly after a play based on his life story premiered at the St. Paul History Theater. This stage production and its earnings are the subjects of a petition filed by two of Vee’s children.
In the filing, Vee’s children accuse their two brothers of mishandling their father’s estate for their own personal benefit and that of Rockhouse Production, a recording studio started by Vee and his wife in the ’80s. In 2000, Vee’s sons began managing Rockhouse after touring with their father for a number of years.
The two siblings who filed the lawsuit are asking for damages in excess of $50,000 and claim that neither they nor their mother approved of the play due to its subject matter and the way that the revenues were divided. They were notified in September 2004 that the play was moving forward because their brother claimed he had the authority to contract with the theater as his father’s attorney. As a result, Vee’s wife put all of her husband’s business assets and memorabilia into a family trust on June 27, 2015. The same day, she named her daughter as the conservator of Vee’s estate. Two weeks before her death, Vee’s wife wrote a note stating her opposition to the play and her desire to have her son removed as her late husband’s attorney.
These types of estate administration disputes can often cause family friction, especially when there are conflicting accounts of the decedent’s wishes or if the decedent became incapacitated and was unable to express them clearly. An attorney might recommend a periodic review of estate plans so that the documents are precise.