Court throws out case to evict Kessler family member from property in $800-million estate litigation

posted on:
November 18, 2015



A New York State Court said it will not consider the case before it seeking to evict Marshall Kessler from property involved in ongoing litigation surrounding the $800-million estate of Gerald Kessler, Marshall’s grandfather. The court ruled the case was improperly filed.

Beasley Allen recently joined the CBC Law Group in the ongoing litigation on behalf of the family of Gerald Kessler, founder of natural products industry Natural Organics, Inc. over control of the Gerald Kessler Revocable Trust. Mr. Kessler passed away in March of this year at the age of 80, leaving an estate believed to be valued at more than $800 million under the control of Melanie Kay Williams (an actress also known by the stage name Meadow Williams), whom he married under questionable circumstances. After the death of Gerald Kessler, Ms. Williams attempted to evict Marshall Kessler from his childhood home on the Treeview Property in New York, an estate owned by Gerald Kessler.

The larger dispute in this case is an Amendment created in 2013 to the Gerald A. Kessler Revocable Trust that gives Ms. Williams control over almost all of his assets as Trustee. It further established her as, essentially, the sole and exclusive beneficiary of the estate. A Petition filed on behalf of the Kessler family alleges Ms. Williams, who is 31 years younger than Mr. Kessler, manipulated and unduly influenced him to execute new estate planning documents through actions including bigamy, undue influence and elder abuse.

“Ms. Williams took advantage Gerald Kessler’s declining health and wrongfully obtained his entire estate,” said Beasley Allen attorney Lance Gould, who is working on the case. “We are working to protect Mr. Kessler’s children and grandchildren, for whom the trust was originally established.”

Beasley Allen lawyers Dee Miles, Lance Gould and Leslie Pescia are working with David J. Callahan, III, managing partner of the CBC Law Group, and Constance L. Akridge and Tamara Reid from Holland & Hart LLP in Reno, Nev. The complaint is filed in the Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, in and for the County of Washoe. Plaintiffs are Marshall Kessler, Sheree Kessler, Craig Kessler, Steven Kessler, Kaleigh Kessler, Krystal Ferrari, Michael Kessler and Shawn Kessler.

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