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Martin Luther King’s Bible, Nobel Prize at Center of Dispute

12/14/2022 | Heirs & Beneficiaries

When many in Woodland Hills hear stories about estate disputes, they may immediately assume that the discord is simply related to money. While it may seem that most estate administration issues arise from monetary causes, one should remember that cash may not be the only thing of value included in an estate. Some items may hold a high sentimental value to certain estate beneficiaries. It’s often when such an item’s actual value approaches its monetary one that a great many issues arise.

Given his central role in the Civil Rights movement, one may assume any item owned by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be considered valuable. That perceived value may skyrocket were one to know that the items being referred to included Dr. King’s actual Nobel Peace Prize and his traveling bible. It is the future use of these very items that sits at the center of a lawsuit involving his children.

In 2014, Dr. King’s surviving children voted on whether or not to sell these important items to a private collector. Dr. King’s sons ultimately overruled their sister’s objections to the sale. Shortly thereafter, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the estate attempting to compel here to surrender the items for sale. The ongoing dispute has reached such a point that even former President Jimmy Carter has stepped in to try and help the siblings make peace.

In cases such as these, both sides may feel very strongly that theirs is the correct and just argument. Such a stance may be the primary reason why these disputes tend to linger for years. No matter what side one may be on, his or her chances of mounting a successful argument may increase greatly if he or she has an experienced attorney on his or her side.

Source: WSB Atlanta “Judge declines to rule in dispute over MLK Bible, Nobel Peace Prize” Rosner, Brett, June 16, 2016