On July 18, 2012

Colorado residents who have been following the ongoing feud between Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband and her daughter may have heard that a judge recently designated a temporary conservator for the 95-year-old actress. The conservatorship decision has resulted in a truce between the two relatives, who have battled for years over decisions on Gabor’s care and her estate.

Gabor’s ninth husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, will act as temporary conservator, a decision that satisfies his stepdaughter. Although Francesca Hilton has consistently complained that her mother’s husband kept Gabor isolated and heavily sedated, she’s happy with the conservatorship because it requires von Anhalt to provide monthly financial reports and medical records. Hilton will also be allowed weekly visits with her mother without her stepfather’s presence.

According to Hilton’s attorney, the arrangement will ensure that Gabor’s money is spent for her own benefit, rather than her husband’s or anyone else’s. Von Anhalt is allowed to make spending decisions on some of Gabor’s money, but he must get court approval to do so, Hilton’s attorney said. The conservatorship agreement lasts until January, when the judge will re-evaluate the case.

As is the case with so many family disagreements over conservatorships, the one between Hilton and von Anhalt extends beyond simple finances. Hilton has said that her stepfather limits the access she has to her mother, while von Anhalt argues it’s because Hilton brings down the room with negativity. The personal battle between Gabor’s husband, who is 27 years her junior, and her only daughter isn’t surprising given the actress’ frail condition. Since she sufferred a broken hip and a leg amputation in recent years, both are increasingly concerned for her welfare and want to make sure she and her estate are properly taken care of.

Coloradans don’t have to have the size of the legendary actress’ estate or a stormy relationship among relatives to have concerns when it comes to estate planning. Almost everyone can benefit from having a firm estate plan in place in case they die or become incapacitated. No matter what the size of your estate, you may find that the ability to make decisions about your future care and assets is priceless.

Source: CNN, “Zsa Zsa Gabor’s daughter, husband reach truce in dispute over actress’s care,” Alan Duke, July 12, 2012

Categories: Probate Litigation

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