After being awarded the highest jury verdict in the United States in September 2017, a Texas probate court in August finally settled a contentious battle that pitted the family of a deceased airline executive against JPMorgan bank. The case, Hopper v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, pertained to the passing of Max Hopper, an American Airlines executive, who died unexpectedly without a will or estate plan. He left more than $19 million in assets for his children and their stepmother.
JPMorgan was accused of dragging their feet in the handling of the Hopper estate, taking more than five years to divide assets among the family members. During this time, the bank took years to distribute basic interests in art, home furnishings, jewelry, golf putters, and wine. The family also claimed that the bank failed to meet basic financial deadlines, stock options were allowed to expire, and requests to sell stock went ignored. The initial probate case awarded the Hopper family $8 billion in a punitive verdict against the bank.
Hopperâ€™s adult children asked the court to award them $75 million, down from the six billion dollars awarded to them in the initial verdict. The bank agreed to a confidential settlement with the children. Hopperâ€™s widow, Jo Hopper, requested that her awarded be lowered to $14.4 million from the initial $2 billion awarded her in the initial verdict. In August of last year, the probate court settled on a $7.1 million payout to Jo Hopper by JPMorgan Chase. JPMorgan chase contends that it did nothing wrong in the handling of Hopperâ€™s estate, claiming that it was stuck between two warring factions of the widow and stepchildren. It unsuccessfully argued that Hopperâ€™s widow should receive nothing from the estate or the $945,000 it offered as settlement for the case.
Let an Experienced Probate Attorney Handle Your Estate
Hiring an experienced probate attorney to handle the administration of your estate, or the estate of your loved one, has many practical benefits. First, your case gets the personalized attention it deserves and wonâ€™t get lost in the shuffle when handled by large law firms, banks, or other large corporate entities. At the Law Offices of Brian Hill, we are in constant communication with our clients during the probate process, explaining what is happening in the administration of the estate and what the next steps will be in the process. If anyone has questions or issues, they are handled right away by our dedicated team of professionals. We are available to our clients anytime, and our personalized approach means that your probate case will be handled as effectively and efficiently as possible.
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If you are interested in creating an estate plan or appointing an experienced probate attorney to handle your estate, call or contact us at the Law Offices of Brian Hill PLLC today. Schedule a free, confidential consultation of your estate plan, and we will advise you on your legal options for your estate.