Once the highest paid actor, now a battle over $18,000 Rooney estate

Posted at 4:18 PM, Apr 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-09 16:18:22-04

LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Actor Mickey Rooney disinherited his children, his wife and all but one of her children in a will he signed just weeks before his death.

Rooney, 93, died of natural causes at his Los Angeles home Sunday.

Although court papers suggest there is not much in Rooney’s estate to fight over, a battle may be brewing over who controls funeral arrangements and decides where the legendary actor is buried.

Lawyer Michael Augustine, who served as Rooney’s conservator, said in a court filing that he believed Rooney’s estranged wife and her son, Christopher Aber, would attempt to remove Rooney’s body from Forest Lawn Memorial Park’s mortuary.

A Los Angeles judge signed a handwritten order Tuesday preventing anyone from removing Rooney’s remains until he holds a hearing on Friday. Augustine, who is named as estate executor in the will, is asking for that authority.

Jan Rooney signed an agreement waiving all claims to her husband’s estate after they couple separated in June 2012 after 34 years of marriage, according to a court filing. She will benefit from Rooney’s Social Security and other pensions, it said.

While Rooney was the highest paid actor in Hollywood 70 years ago, his personal property totaled just $18,000, according to documents accompanying his will.

The will signed by Rooney on March 11, 2014, left the entire estate to stepson Mark Rooney, one of Jan Rooney’s sons, who was the actor’s caretaker the last two years of his life.

Rooney “intentionally omitted” and disinherited his eight surviving biological children and two other stepchildren from his last marriage, the will said.

A probate hearing is schedule for May 12 to start the process of executing the actor’s will.

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