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Chicken-Fried News: Probate problems

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We all hear stories about money issues surrounding people dying. If the deceased was broke when they died, the stories are of family members trying to give them a decent memorial service and burial.

If the dearly departed had money, long-lost cousins, business associates and numerous “friends” often come out of the woodwork.

KGOU recently reported that Oklahoma-born natural gas and oil magnate Aubrey McClendon’s lawyers are now dealing with over $1 billion worth of probate claims — people and companies claiming McClendon owed them money.

McClendon died March 2 in a car accident near Turner Turnpike.

The Chesapeake Energy Corporation founder and former CEO was once part of Forbes’ list of wealthiest Americans but was removed in 2012, after his net worth dropped to $500 million.

Claims to his estate include $445 million in damages to Chesapeake Energy Corporation, $464.3 million to Wilmington Trust and “$22 million for an aircraft purchase plus millions in real estate loans,” according to a KGOU report that quoted The Journal Record reporter Dale Denwalt.

The Journal Record also cited a $5.3 million loan to “McClendon’s Singapore Dunes real estate development in Michigan” and a $500,000 loan Thomas Quinn gave McClendon in 2016.

“According to documents submitted along with Quinn’s claim, no payments were made on the loan for 14 years and the promissory note did not include a payment schedule,” Denwalt wrote.

Lawyers have to go through each claim and determine whether or not it is legitimate. Once that’s done, payments must be made. If McClendon’s estate can’t cover the costs, people or businesses owed will receive partial payments.

Someone get those lawyers some coffee.

Print headline: Probate problems

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