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Disney Heirs in Contentious Inheritance Dispute

Daryll Pomey Orat - Saturday, May 03, 2014

Walt Disney’s grandchildren are in the news, and for all the wrong reasons. The grandchildren are embroiled in a contentious and toxic legal battle over their multimillion dollar inheritance.

By any standards, this is an inheritance dispute that has quickly degenerated into the hostile. There have been allegations of conspiracy as well as shocking claims of incest thrown between the parties. The dispute is between Disney’s grandchildren - Bradford Lund and twin sister Michelle - and their trustees. Both of the twins were the children of Disney's youngest daughter, the late Sharon Mae Disney. The twins were promised a significant proportion of their inheritance in a staggered manner- on their 35th, 40th and 45th birthdays.

The trustees who were in charge of distributing the money were empowered to withhold the money if the twins did not display the maturity and financial ability to manage the funds in a responsible manner. Such clauses in trusts are not unheard of, and very often, trustees will be authorized to withhold money if the heirs behave in an irresponsible manner.

According to Bradford Lund, the first two installments that he was supposed to receive from his inheritance were withheld by the trustees. However, his sister received her installments. Lund and his father filed a lawsuit against the three trustees. According to a former trustee, the condition that the twins should use the money responsibly, or have the money withheld from them was specifically in place for Brad. He suffers from Down’s syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome, and has a checkered unemployment history. He has held a number of various job and now lives close to his father and stepmother in Phoenix.

However, his legal team claims that his mental issues should not prevent him from getting his inheritance, because his twin sister, who was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child, and who has addiction issues, has not had her health problems come in the way of receiving funds from the trust.

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