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Estate administration mismanaged in Max Hopper case

Every year, numerous Georgia residents have the unpleasant task of closing out the estates of loved ones. When there is no will or other estate planning documents in place, the court may assign a bank or other representative to manage the estate. What can beneficiaries do if they feel that the estate administration is being mismanaged? They can do what the heirs of Max Hopper did and file claims against the executor.

Max Hopper created the reservations system that is currently in use by American Airlines. In the year 2010, he died, leaving behind assets valuing $19 million. Unfortunately, he did not have a will, so JPMorgan Chase & Co. was assigned to manage the estate.

Max Hopper's heirs were less than pleased with how the estate was being handled. They claim that those managing the estate did so inappropriately, which cost them a significant sum in the long run. Legal claims were filed against JPMorgan, and a jury agreed with Mr. Hopper's family. His widow and two step-children were each awarded $2 billion in punitive damages. The children have since asked for the judgment to be reduced.

JPMorgan has requested that this verdict be thrown out, claiming that the family is not entitled to anything. Only time will tell how this case will ultimately come to a close. While most Georgia residents will not have to deal with estates the size of Max Hopper's, the actions taken by his family can be taken by anyone who feels that his or her loved one's estate is being mismanaged. An attorney can help beneficiaries through the estate administration process so they can be sure they are being treated fairly and ensure the executor does not abuse his or her power.

Source:, "JPMorgan Says Family Awarded $8 Billion Verdict Deserves Nothing", Tom Korosec and Margaret Cronin, Nov. 11, 2017

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