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Law and Disorder: The Jerry Orbach Estate Battle

Ali Katz


Jerry Orbach, who starred as Detective Lennie Briscoe in the popular “Law and Order” television series, died a decade ago, but a battle is brewing over his Chase bank account, according to a recent story in the New York Post.

The Chase bank account in dispute belongs to Orbach’s Mingoya Productions company, and is currently under the control of the actor’s former accountant, Patricia M. Black.  Orbach added Black as a signatory to the company’s account a year before he died in 2004.

Black also served as executor of the estate of Orbach’s wife Elaine, who inherited his entire estate and who died in 2009.  After Elaine died, her sister, Rita Hubbard, replaced Black as executor.  Hubbard contacted Chase to inform them of the change in executor and request that Black be cut off from access to the account.

Chase says that Black has not responded to its many phone calls and letters, and is unwilling to turn the account over to Hubbard because it is unsure who is the rightful owner of the account since it has no proof that Elaine was ever a co-owner of Mingoya Productions.

Hubbard’s attorney says that Elaine’s estate is the sole owner of Mingoya Productions, and is therefore the rightful owner of the account.

A lawsuit has been filed in Manhattan to resolve the dispute.

This is the unfortunate effect of not having your estate planning set up properly.  Many, many years after your death, your loved ones could still be dealing with the fall out.

Unlike many lawyers, we have specific procedures for ensuring your family doesn’t get stuck dealing with the Court when something happens to you.

If you would like more information about getting your affairs in order and handled well, contact a Personal Family Lawyer® today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.