King's children have been criticized for trying to capitalize on their father's fame. The family's estate controls the exclusive rights to the use of slain civil rights leader's image and speeches.
The estate sold more than 10,000 of King's personal documents and manuscripts for $32 million to Atlanta in 2006. In 1999, the King children won a case against CBS for broadcasting King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech without payment.
When noted New York socialite and philanthropist Brooke Astor died at age 105 in 2007, many turned their attention to her only son, Anthony Marshall, who had been accused for years of elder abuse.
Charged with grand larceny, possession of stolen property and forgery, and accused of looting his mother's $185 million estate, a trial against Marshall began in March.
If found guilty, the former ambassador could face 25 years in prison.
Marshall's son, Philip Marshall, accused his father of elder abuse and successfully filed a petition to replace Marshall with Annette de la Renta, wife of designer Oscar de la Renta, as Astor's guardian.
Astor, who suffered from Alzheimer's Disease and dementia, changed her will in 2004 to let her son control most of her estate.
A central focus of Marshall's trial, which is currently in progress, is whether Astor was mentally competent when she made changes to her will. On Monday, Astor's nurse testified that Astor had grown paranoid of her son, who she believed was trying to kill her.
When Michael Crichton, the author behind "Jurassic Park" and "The Andromeda Strain," died in November 2008, he left behind four ex-wives, a 20-year-old daughter, a pregnant wife and a big legal mess.
The author, estimated to have $100 million in annual earnings, did not update his will to provide for the son he was expecting with wife Sherri Alexander. Under California law protecting children that are accidentally left out of wills, Crichton's son could inherit one-third of his father's fortune.
Alexander is the guardian of their son, John, and would thus control any inheritance he receives, which may violate the prenuptial agreement she previously signed. In April, the widow filed a petition in probate court to establish John's legal right to Crichton's fortune.
The case is still pending, with the next court hearing scheduled for Sept. 8.
Crichton's estate was placed into a family trust, according to Conde Nast Portfolio. Crichton's will intentionally omits his four ex-wives. Two of the author's novels will be publishedposthumously.
The estate of ice cream pioneer Tom Carvel has been a sticky mess since his death in 1990. The problems may have even started before Carvel passed away.
At the time of his death his estate was valued at $67 million, and included a 100-room motel and 40 properties linked to Carvel franchises, according to Conde Nast Portfolio.
The fighting, which continues today, principally arose between Mildred Archipane, Carvel's secretary of 38 years, and Robert Davis, his lawyer, and his niece, Pamela Carvel. Pamela Carvel alleges that Archipane and Davis locked-out her aunt, Tom Carvel's wife, Agnes, when they took control of Tom's business and personal finances when he died.