Celebrity Disputes

In a life imitates art way, the distribution of the estate of The Young and the Restless performer, Kristoff St. John, is becoming a soap opera. On the day of Super Bowl LIII oin February 3, 2019, police went to Kristoff’s Woodland Hills residence for a possible alcohol overdose situation. It was later determined by the Medical Examiner that he died of heart disease with signs of damage from alcohol abuse.

On March 20,of 2019, Kristoff’s eldest daughter, Paris St. John, filed a Petition for Letters of Administration in the Los Angeles Superior Court seeking to be appointed as the administrator of her father’s intestate estate, alleging that her father died without a will. Subsequently, Kristoff’s father, Christopher St. John,filed a competing Petition for Probate and submitted to the probate court a will dated August 12, 2017, which is purported to have been hand written by Kristoff two years prior to his death. That document, if considered to be a valid holographic will,provides for the distribution of cash assets from the estate to be split25 percent% to Paris and 75 percent% to his younger daughter, Lola St. John.

The will was in the form of a letter indicating that Kristoff gave his father a $100,000 check that was to be given immediately to Lola. It also set forth that Christopher was to be the estate’s executor;, that Lola was to receive monies distributed from the estate on her 16th, 18th, and 21st birthdays,; and that Paris was to receive a lump sum distribution.

Paris filed an objection to the will, claiming it “was written inside a private diary and was not intended to be seen by third parties.” In turn, Christopher submitted a text message from Kristoff to his girlfriend at the time, referencing that he had drafted the will leaving monies to his daughters and that he had written two checks to the girlfriend that she should deposit immediately.

At an ex parte court hearing on April 22, 2019, the Honorable Judge Deborah L. Christian appointed Christopher and Paris as Co-Special Co-Administrators of the estate for the limited purposes of selling Kristoff’s condominiumunit and marshalling Kristoff’s assets inside that property as well as his rental unit, with such temporary powers set to expire on July 22, 2019 of. They were given equal powers to act unanimously on any sales of estate assets and distribution of proceeds.

It is anticipated that Paris will file a will contest. There has yet to be a determination as to the validity of Kristoff’s estate planning documents and the appointment of a personal representative of the estate with general powers.