A $40,000 invoice for legal services for work done in the month before an individual passes away would make anyone wonder what exactly took place. But a second wife says nothing of importance occurred.
Jeri Thompson, the widow of former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee, is asking the court to dismiss a claim against her late husband’s estate brought by two sons from his first marriage.
In “Fred Thompson's Widow Asks Judge to Dismiss Estate Claim,” Nashville’s newschannel5.com reports that the attorneys for Jeri Thompson filed the motion for summary judgment last week, insisting that she never "conspired" with a prominent Nashville law firm to reconfigure the former senator's estate.
The court documents state that Jeri Thompson, as executor of her husband's estate, made just one change, which was a change to a contingent beneficiary designation on two term life insurance policies. This change had no impact on the rights of the plaintiffs, Jeri argued, because they weren’t primary or contingent beneficiaries of the policies—either before or after the change.
The late Senator Thompson's two adult sons from his first marriage, Tony and Dan, filed their lawsuit last week against Jeri and the estate, alleging that she exercised "undue influence" on Fred in many last-minute changes to the estate. The plaintiffs’ suspicions look to have been aroused by an invoice for $40,000 in legal work conducted on behalf of Thompson's estate in the month prior to his death.
Jeri Thompson’s latest court pleading states that the only change made to the estate planning documents was to add their youngest son, Samuel, as a 50% contingent beneficiary along with his sister, Hayden. Jeri remained the 100% primary beneficiary on the policies, the court motion says. The result of the change was the same: Jeri received 100% of the net death benefit of the policies, just as she would have if the change had never been made, according to the motion.
"Plaintiffs cannot show that they incurred any harm or loss that was cause by any action of Executor," the motion declares.
According to the lawsuit filed by the two adult sons, the copies of the insurance documents with these beneficiary changes were not shared with the sons. They were attached to the motion for summary judgment.
Reference: (Nashville TN) newschannel5.com (August 8, 2016) “Fred Thompson's Widow Asks Judge to Dismiss Estate Claim”