Billionaire Heir’s Children Sue Over Girlfriend

John Goodman’s legal troubles continue to mount this month.  As we discussed in our last post, Goodman faces criminal and civil trials next month over allegations for his actions in an automobile accident that resulted in the death of a man named Scott Wilson.  With impending liability mounting, Goodman decided to legally adopt his 42-year old girlfriend so that she could benefit from a sizable trust that is established for his children.

In the latest chapter in this saga, Goodman’s own biological children are now suing him because of his recent adoption of current girlfriend, Heather Hutchins.  The children’s outrage has quickly morphed into litigation as Joseph Rebak, attorney for the children’s Guardian, filed suit attacking the legality of the adoption.  Rebak said he “has never seen anything like this adoption in his 32 years of practicing.”  The children are concerned that their trust fund, previously ruled exempt from any lawsuit, could be subject to a judgment for money damages as a result of Goodman’s actions in the accident.  Alleging the adoption is an abuse of the legal system, Rebak hopes to have the adoption overturned.

Whether the Judge that approved Goodman’s adoption knew of Goodman’s current legal troubles is in doubt.  At the adoption hearing, the Judge said that ultimately a Delaware or Texas probate Court will need to decide the fate of the adoption.  Apparently, paperwork for the lawsuit was filed both in Texas and Delaware.

As you can see, trust beneficiaries must be attentive to all events that could affect their trust assets.  If you have any questions or concerns about trusts or whether your assets need additional protection, contact Ford + Bergner LLP  today.

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