Hudson News family in court over patriarch’s final will

Anyone in El Paso who has done much traveling has probably come across a Hudson News stand on his or her journeys. With stands across the country, the man behind Hudson News was worth over $805 million when he died five years ago. It was after his death, however, that things started to unravel for the family members of the late Robert Cohen.

According to Cohen’s final will, his son was to inherit $600 million, the bulk of the estate. Cohen’s granddaughter, however, the only child of his only daughter, received only a small inheritance. She is now accusing her uncle of using undue influence on her grandfather to get a larger slice of the estate.

There is more to making a will than just spelling out who will get what. Whenever someone in Texas wishes to make a will, he or she must have the capacity to do so. This means that the individual is of sound mind and that no one has been pressuring him or her into making certain bequests. If an estate litigation can prove that the will was created without the necessary capacity or that there was undue influence, the court may throw the will out, greatly changing some inheritances.

While Cohen’s granddaughter is arguing that her uncle was using undue influence to increase his inheritance, the uncle has argued that there was nothing improper about Cohen’s changes to his will. In fact, a judge had previously determined that Cohen was indeed competent when his will and, thus, the will should stand as it is.

This estate litigation has already lasted five years and it is expected that the trial could go through next month.

Source:The Bergen Record, “Pretrial motions heard in billionaire Perelman-Cohen family feud,” Kibret Markos, Sept. 18, 2013