Martin Luther King Jr.’s Children Involved In Legal Battle Over Parent’s Estate


Commentary by Gary A. Johnson

Bernice King and Martin Luther King III filed a lawsuit Thursday in Fulton County Superior Court against Dexter King. Bernice and Martin allege that Dexter King took “substantial funds” out of their mother Coretta Scott King’s estate and “wrongfully appropriated” money from their father’s estate.

The lawsuit says that Dexter King, the administrator of his father’s estate, refused to provide information and documents concerning the operations. and that Martin Luther King Jr.’s estate’s assets are being misapplied or wasted.

Wow! I don’t know why I thought the King family would be different. This is sad.

Jock Smith, a lawyer due to represent Bernice and Martin, said the pair’s decision to sue their brother was not an easy one.

“This was very heartfelt on their part and very, very taxing on them to have to do this,” Mr Smith said. “They are not happy that they had to bring this action. All they’re asking for is … to be included in their daddy’s legacy.”

Speaking from his home in Malibu, California, Dexter added that he was “shocked” and “blindsided” by the lawsuit and claimed his siblings had given him no warning. “I think maybe it was a reckless attempt to express their grievances,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “They are false claims and I will addressing that accordingly.”

If Dr. King and Mrs. King were alive I don’t think they would be happy with this situation and having it play out in public. Once again, money appears to be the divisive issue that serves as a wedge between family members.

What do you think?

Source: Various media outlets.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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3 Responses to “Martin Luther King Jr.’s Children Involved In Legal Battle Over Parent’s Estate”

  1. I am so sadden by the news that the children of the greatest “Change Agent” America has ever known and probably will know is in the midst of a family feud. God, their parents represented unity and the family like many others is not unified during what has to be a difficult time for them. My prayers are with them. May they find forgiveness, love and patience in one another to restore the love that I’m sure they each desire. May God rest the souls of their dad, mom and sister.

  2. Jerrold Bartholomew Says:

    This is a very sad time for the King family. I can’t help but think that some better legal advice might have avoided this situation, but strange things happen when people get around a lot of money. You can see my thoughts on the estate planning issues here: http://michiganelderlaw.info/2008/07/15/litigating-the-estate-of-martin-luther-king-jr/

    Best,

    Jerry Bartholomew

  3. This is very interesting, JK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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