Sumner Redstone is the 92 year old who owns a controlling interest in both CBS and Viacom. For that reason, markets and the media paid close attention when his longtime girlfriend sued to have Redstone declared incompetent.
The girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, claimed that she had been cast aside by Redstone, but not of his own free will. Instead, she claimed that Redstone was mentally incompetent and needed her to handle his affairs.
The case has gone on for many months.
Videotaped testimony by Redstone has now convinced the judge in the case that the case should be dismissed. The judge was convinced that Redstone does not want Herzer in his life and that if he needs assistance, it can be provided by his daughter.
NBC News reported on the dismissal in "Sumner Redstone: Judge Tentatively Dismisses Health Care Lawsuit."
It is unknown if Herzer will attempt to appeal this decision. She certainly has a financial incentive to do so.
Previously, Redstone's estate plan would have given her an inheritance worth approximately $70 million. She has since been removed from Redstone's estate plan, which his lawyers say is the reason that she brought the competency case.
One thing is clear: the judge in this case should be applauded for giving great weight to Redstone's wishes.
All too often the wishes of elderly people about who should provide their care are not given enough consideration in competency hearings. Even in cases where a court finds it necessary to appoint a guardian, the feelings of the proposed ward should be considered. Advanced planning is key to the estate planning process to insure that your wishes are carried out.
Reference: NBC News (May 9, 2016) "Sumner Redstone: Judge Tentatively Dismisses Health Care Lawsuit."
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