Michigan fans of singer Tom Petty may have to wait a while to enjoy more releases from the late singer’s catalog. The singer’s widow is in a probate battle with one of his daughters that could affect the planned release of new compilations. His widow filed a petition in a Los Angeles court. In the document, she alleges that her late husband’s daughter attempted to take control of Petty’s estate.
Since Petty died of an accidental drug overdose in October of 2017, two compilation albums have been released. One is a boxed set, and the other one is a “best of” collection. Future plans, which include a re-release of the singer’s 1994 solo album “Wildflower” with unreleased tracks, are now on hold until this estate fight is over. The singer married his second wife in 2001; his two daughters are from his first marriage.
Petty’s widow, according to the petition filed, was named sole trustee of a trust that the “Free Falling” singer created. The trust stipulates that an entity be established to manage the singer’s music catalog. However, it also states that his two daughters are to have equal participation. They believe this means that they can take control of the entity by a two-thirds majority vote. However, Petty’s widow believes a professional manager should handle her late husband’s music rights with consent from all involved parties.
If Petty’s widow is victorious in this case, she could end up with effective control of her late husband’s catalog. While Petty did make a wise move by creating a trust, this legal fight may have been avoided with more precise language in his estate documents. An estate planning lawyer may be able to minimize the risk of similar issues for a client with assets they wish to protect and pass on to heirs with regular reviews of existing estate-related documents.