The heirs to J. Paul Getty, once the richest man in the world, received more than their fair share of wealth and tragedy. Many members of the family have died tragically and been involved with drugs.
One was famously kidnapped as a child and had his ear cut off when the family initially refused to pay the ransom. The latest tragedy saw a grandson, Andrew Getty, pass away from a meth overdose in March of 2015.
Andrew's father, Gordon, who was designated to take over the business when J. Paul Getty passed away has filed a claim against Andrew's estate for $14.1 million. He claims that at the time of his death his son owed him $10 million from loans and held 55 pieces of art that he borrowed.
The Daily Mail reported this story in "Getty heir goes to court to reclaim $14m from estate of son who died of a meth overdose in his Los Angeles mansion."
There is an important estate law point here that many do not follow.
If a deceased family member passes away and owes you something, you cannot simply take it for yourself. Instead, as Gordon Getty has done, you need to file a claim against the estate.
While it is unlikely that Gordon could have simply taken $10 million in cash, many people would go ahead and take personal property they believe is owed to them, such as the art work in this case.
While filing a claim allows others to potentially disagree and to seek to block the claim, it is the correct way to go about things.
Reference: Daily Mail (Dec. 21, 2015) "Getty heir goes to court to reclaim $14m from estate of son who died of a meth overdose in his Los Angeles mansion."