Weinstein & Randisi
Toll free:800-768-1780

Resize the Content Text

Court battle may be looming over Paul Newman’s charities

A legal battle over late movie actor Paul Newman's charitable foundation now appears imminent according to statements his eldest daughter has made recently regarding the handling of her father's estate. The late actor, who enjoyed tremendous success starring in movies, also dabbled in creating salad dressings and later enjoyed tremendous success selling them.

From its outset in 1982, Newman was adamant that all proceeds obtained from the sales of his products would go to fund charitable activities. Since its creation, it's believed that profits from Newman's Own food empire money have funded at least $430 million in charitable works.

However, Newman's eldest daughter says that a man her father appointed as co-executor of his estate has now shifted the direction of Newman's estate in a manner that she says her father did not intend prior to his death in 2008. Newman's daughter accuses the current director of Newman's Own Foundation of unnecessary spending that she described as lavish and self-aggrandizing.

At the heart of the dispute, Newman's daughter points to a six-page letter Newman's attorney drafted around the time of Newman's 75th birthday in 1999. The letter outlined how the actor's considerable estate would be managed after his death. Most importantly, the document placed significant managerial control of Newman's charitable interests under the supervision of his children.

It remains unclear whether Newman's eldest daughter will contest the management of her father's estate through probate litigation. However, Newman's daughter has indicated that she feels it is her duty to safeguard her father's legacy and fulfill his wishes as he intended.

There are several things you should know if you are an heir to a trust or an estate. New York laws require that estates valued at $30,000 or more go through a process in Surrogate's Court known as probate. Generally, this process is done to determine the validity of a deceased person's will and distribute the items contained within the will among creditors and beneficiaries.

You need to know that challenging a will in Surrogate's Court is not easy; however, the distribution of a decedent's estate must accurately reflect the wishes of the person who formed the will as much as possible. A New York estate planning attorney can assist you in helping to safeguard your deceased relative or loved one's estate and give voice to their intentions throughout the probate process.

Source: Vanity Fair, "Inside the Family Battle for the Newman’s Own Brand Name," Mark Seal, July 23, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • I wanted to write to say how pleased my wife and I were at your professional handling of our estate planning and preparation of new wills. We were put at ease by your visit to our home for an interview and were pleased that you listened to us and captured the things that we felt were important.

    --Robert and Christine Simonson, Fairport
  • In order to finalize the documents we came to your office and were greeted in a very professional manner and we could not have asked for finer service. We left with copies of everything we needed and feel very confident our needs have been met. Thanks again. We will surely recommend you should the opportunity arise.

    — Christine and Robert Simonson, Fairport
  • I have been working with Weinstein & Randisi for about two years now. Elizabeth Randisi, through a very thorough process, has helped my wife and me determine what is really important in our lives. Thus, we were able to draft a living will that reflected our most important values regarding our estate.

    --David and Ajia Cherry, Fairport
  • I would like to give a testimony for Elizabeth Randisi, an estate attorney with Weinstein & Randisi. Her knowledge of wills and estate planning was clearly demonstrated in her presentation to us. Realizing our need for a will, my husband and I went to see Elizabeth.

    --Kathy and Gary Gray, Webster
  • Filing for Medicaid is never an easy or fun process. However, working with the Weinstein & Randisi firm made the process simple and streamlined. We were able to obtain all files and records regarding Medicaid enrollment within a few days using specially prepared checklists and verbiage recommended by our assigned paralegal.

    --Ajia and David Cherry, Fairport
Awarded Top 50 Estate Planning Blog
Email Us For a Response

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Blog Feed


Weinstein & Randisi - estate planning

290 Linden Oaks, Ste. 200
Rochester, NY 14625

Toll Free: 800-768-1780
Phone: 585-310-1578
Rochester Law Office Map


Call us now for a free, 100% confidential consultation: