Not Much In Mickey Rooney's Estate, Fight Possible Over His Remains

By: Alan Duke (CNN)--
By: Alan Duke (CNN)--
Actor Mickey Rooney disinherited his children, his wife and all but one of her children in a will he signed just weeks before his death.

Actor Mickey Rooney, one of Hollywood's brightest stars in the 1930s and 1940s, died Sunday in California, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office said. He was 93.

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Actor Mickey Rooney disinherited his children, his wife and all but one of her children in a will he signed just weeks before his death.

Rooney, 93, died of natural causes at his Los Angeles home Sunday.

Although court papers suggest there is not much in Rooney's estate to fight over, a battle may be brewing over who controls funeral arrangements and decides where the legendary actor is buried.

Lawyer Michael Augustine, who served as Rooney's conservator, said in a court filing that he believed Rooney's estranged wife and her son, Christopher Aber, would attempt to remove Rooney's body from Forest Lawn Memorial Park's mortuary.

A Los Angeles judge signed a handwritten order Tuesday preventing anyone from removing Rooney's remains until he holds a hearing on Friday. Augustine, who is named as estate executor in the will, is asking for that authority.

Attorney Yevgeny Belous, who works with lawyer Mitchell Karasov to represent the wife, Jan Rooney, told CNN that she is the only person with authority to make the decisions.

Lawyers for both sides are "working toward the mutual goal of honoring Mickey," perhaps with an agreement on funeral and burial arrangements, before Friday's hearing, Belous said.

Rooney already purchased burial plots in a cemetery in the Westlake Village area of Los Angeles County. In fact, Rooney's mother was moved there years ago so the family would be together, Belous said.

"We want Mickey to have a proper ceremony," he said. "We don't want to drag this into a fight."

Jan Rooney signed an agreement waiving all claims to her husband's estate after they couple separated in June 2012 after 34 years of marriage, according to a court filing. She will benefit from Rooney's Social Security and other pensions, it said.

While Rooney was the highest paid actor in Hollywood 70 years ago, his personal property totaled just $18,000, according to documents accompanying his will.

The will signed by Rooney on March 11, 2014, left the entire estate to stepson Mark Rooney, one of Jan Rooney's sons, who was the actor's caretaker the last two years of his life.

Rooney "intentionally omitted" and disinherited his eight surviving biological children and two other stepchildren from his last marriage, the will said.

A probate hearing is schedule for May 12 to start the process of executing the actor's will.

Posted By Greg Palmer


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