Looks like a legal battle is heating up between the nephews of a couple of country music icons.
According to KWTX, a Judge Vik Deivanayagam rejected a motion for summary judgment from Fred Fletcher, the nephew of Willie Nelson (Bobbie’s son), that requested to throw out Billy Joe Shaver’s 2003 will, in favor of a 2008 handwritten will.
Shaver’s own nephew, Terry Dwayne Rogers, is the other party in the case. He claims that the 2003 will, which was done with the assistance of an attorney, is the proper will and the 2008 handwritten will should be thrown out.
Needless to say, the two different wills leave Shaver’s estate to the respective nephews. The 2008 handwritten note leaves his estate to Fletcher, and the 2003 will leaves the estate to Rogers.
Rogers’ attorney Whitney Fanning weighed in on the dispute:
“If I am going to leave all of my worldly possessions to someone, I am going to leave it to my family. I am not going to leave it to some music director whose sole purpose is to make money.
My client has a proper will left to his family members, which is how we do things. That is kind of the way it is done. We take care of our family rather than someone who is not connected.”
And to make matters more complicated, the attorney who drafted the 2003 will passed away in 2021, and the original of the handwritten 2008 will is nowhere to be found… just a photocopy.
Fletcher, who was a former drummer in Shaver’s band, founded Arlyn Studio in 1984, and Pedernales Records (alongside his uncle Willie) in 1999.
The 2008 handwritten will said that everything was to go to Fletcher, and was seemingly signed by a number of witnesses. It read:
“I want him to continue to administer all my music business and to keep all profits.”
However, since they don’t have the original, Rogers’ attorney argues they have no case:
“Our position is this copy is not admissible as evidence. Therefore, they have no case.”
Sounds like a jury will decides this one.
Comedian Norm MacDonald recorded a final stand-up special before his death last fall, and Netflix just released it this past week.
A never version of Shaver’s “Old Chunk Of Coal” was featured in that special and has since been released to the public.