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Celebrity chef's family embroiled in dispute over mother's estate

It's sad when a family descends into arguments and disagreements over a deceased loved one's estate. This is why New York residents need to take great care when writing and updating a will. A will needs to be written the right way, so it holds up to being challenged in court.

One recent will contest case involves the estate of the mother of celebrity chef Rocco Dispirito. Readers of this blog have probably seen or heard about the reality television show "The Restaurant." One of the signature characters in the show was the mother of celebrity chef Rocco, Nicolina Dispirito. Nicolina died in 2013 and Chef Rocco became the estate's executor.

Nicolina's estate includes a four-story apartment building in Brooklyn. In her will, she left Rocco 50 percent of her assets and the rest of her other two children -- 25 percent each. However, Rocco is demanding more than his 50 percent share because he says he spent over $1 million -- an estimated $28,000 per month -- to pay for his 87-year-old mother's care as she grew older.

Rocco's demand for a deeper share of his mother's estate have brought on the ire of his two siblings, who have responded in court, saying that Rocco did not do a good job of putting the family matriarch's affairs in appropriate order. The two other siblings dispute that Rocco incurred exorbitant fees to store his mother's belongs -- belongings that the siblings were supposed to split equally -- and that they may need to sell the belongings in order to pay the outstanding storage fees.

With the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer, New York residents can plan their estates in a legally appropriate manner. They can also plan their estates in a way that's least likely to inflame family members and potential heirs into a potential dispute.

Source: New York Post, "Rocco Dispirito feuds with siblings over mother’s estate," Kathianne Boniello, June 04, 2017

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