Some of B.B. King’s heirs are due in a Las Vegas court today (June 25) to ask a judge not to turn over control of his estate to the longtime business manager he named as executor.
But a lawyer for the B.B. King estate and designated executor LaVerne Toney says the family’s claim that Toney isolated the musician, stole from him and poisoned him before his May 14 death at age 89 have no basis in fact.
“We believe the judge will accept the will and appoint LaVerne as executor,” attorney Brent Bryson said Wednesday, according to the AP.
In court documents submitted ahead of the hearing, Bryson accuses some of King’s children and relatives of “attempting to do what Mr. King would never allow them to do when he was alive, which is to insert themselves into his business affairs.”
King wanted to spend his last days in the comfort of his home, not in a hospital, the document said. It said King, not Toney, chose not to have daughters Karen Williams and Patty King visit.
Attorney Larissa Drohobyczer, who says she represents a five-member family board of B.B. King’s 11 surviving children, including Williams and Patty King, said last week she believes the estate is worth between $5 million and $10 million.
Williams and Patty King accused Toney of keeping them from seeing their father, and Toney and B.B. King’s personal assistant, Myron Johnson, of giving the singer an unknown substance to speed up his death.
Toney and Johnson denied the claims, and Bryson dismissed them as ridiculous, defamatory and libelous.
The allegation prompted an autopsy by the Clark County coroner, the results of which are expected in several weeks, reports the AP. Police said there is no active homicide investigation. King’s physician and the coroner said King died of natural causes — a series of small strokes attributable to a yearslong battle with Type 2 diabetes.
Toney managed King’s road show business for 39 years and had power-of-attorney over his personal affairs. She is the executor named in his will of Jan. 18, 2007.
The document filed Tuesday dismissed as “unsubstantiated and wrong” a suggestion made by family members that another will exists.
“There is no missing will,” it said.
(Photo Source: AP)