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Larry King's Widow Hits Back at 'Barely Legible' Will

Shawn King contests 2019 handwritten document produced by stepson Larry King Jr.
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2021 11:29 AM CST

(Newser) Larry King's death last month at the age of 87 has now evolved into a family fight over his estate. Per USA Today, his widow, Shawn King, filed a petition Tuesday to claim her right to be executor of the late talk-show host's $2 million estate instead of letting his 59-year-old son, Larry King Jr., administer it. Shawn King cites a 2015 will in which her husband had named her as executor. But Larry King Jr. has since produced what the paper says is a "barely legible" 2019 will, apparently handwritten by his father (Variety has a photo), which says that document "should replace all previous writings," and that "I want 100% of my funds to be divided equally" among his five children: Larry, his son with ex-wife Annette Kaye; Chance and Cannon, his sons with Shawn King; and Andy and Chaia (both died in 2020), his children with ex Alene Akins. Larry King Jr. insists in his own petition that he's higher in the priority hierarchy than his stepmother, as she'd started divorce proceedings with his dad.

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Shawn King is pushing back, noting in her petition that even though she'd initiated a divorce in August 2019, her husband had "refused to participate in the divorce proceeding" and they were actually on speaking terms and had been going to counseling together, with "reconciliation [remaining] possible until Larry's health conditions made that impractical." She also notes she had a better overview of Larry King's business workings and is therefore better suited to oversee the estate. "It would be highly inappropriate to place [King Jr.] in a position of representing Larry's estate," she says, adding that she also had post-nup deals that limited her husband's ability to make "testamentary gifts" to his kids. She adds that he was "susceptible to outside influences" during his final years and was "of questionable mental capacity." Two court hearings are upcoming, on Feb. 24 and March 25. (Read more Larry King stories.)

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