Update on Estate of the Month: John O’Quinn

John O'Quinn and Darla Lexington

In my August Newsletter, I updated the recent issues with John O’Quinn’s estate.  O’Quinn died late in 2009 and his long-time partner, Darla Lexington, alleges she was O’Quinn’s common-law wife and she was due  fifty (50) percent of the marital assets as community property.  O’Quinn’s personal representative is fighting that allegation. To learn more about the Lexington/O’Quinn estate battle click here for my May Newsletter. Now there is more news to report.

As mentioned in the newsletter, Lexington was attempting to stop O’Quinn’s personal representative from selling several antique automobiles that O’Quinn had purchased over the time he was in the relationship with Lexington.  Last Monday, a Texas Judge denied her claim.

Judge Mike Wood’s ruling was good news for managers of O’Quinn’s estate and the charitable foundation he created. Lawyers for those entities on Friday argued that a massive debt, placed by a knowledgeable source at about $90 million, could go into default if the cars were not sold…Lexington, he said, has been informed of the judge’s denial of the requested injunction and is “taking it hard.”

Without going into too much detail, that is not good news for Lexington’s claims going forward.  If her claim of a common law marriage was stronger the judge would have likely denied the sale. Her attorney will likely need to bring an action against the estate to claim any money that results from the sale of the automobile.  Unfortunately, just like any other creditor.  With an estate 90 million in the red, there is a long list of creditors and the question will be if there is enough money in the estate to satisfy those creditors.

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About Chris Guest

I am a trust and estate planning attorney working in the Washington, DC metro area. I offer comprehensive estate planning, trust administration, probate services and general business counseling for accountants, attorneys, business owners, consultants, federal and local government employees, retirees, other business professionals and other individuals.
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