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Musician at odds with former bandmate’s estate

One of the main responsibilities that comes with administering an estate in Miami is answering any claims made against it. This can include action taken by creditors to try and collect debts, or it may be legal action initiated by a decedent’s former associates. Upon one’s death, his or her personal representative takes control of his or her affairs as he or she stipulated. Thus, any contracts or agreements one entered into while alive must be now recognized and enforced (or, in certain cases, challenged) by his or her estate. 

The estate of a former member of the music group Steely Dan is currently involved in a dispute with the last surviving band member over such an agreement. The band member is citing a contract that all of the members of the group signed back in 1972 that stipulated when each member died, the surviving members would have the right to purchase his stake in the band. He has been seeking to do just that since the latest member’s death, recently going so far as to file a lawsuit. 

The estate has answered his action by saying that the stipulations of the 1972 contract no longer apply, and that they have tried to negotiate a compromise with the surviving band member that he has rejected by firing his attorneys who have participated in the negotiations. Were the contract to be enforced, the estate would only receive royalties on all songs the late band member participated in writing. 

Fighting for the best interest of an estate is the task assigned to an executor or personal representative. Those who need assistance in fulfilling it may want to secure the services of an experienced attorney. 

Source: Complete Music Update, “Walter Becker estate responds to Steely Dan dispute,” Chris Cooke, Nov. 28, 2017

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