*The battle over B.B. King’s estate has begun.
Several of his kids are headed to court against LaVerne Toney, King’s trusted business agent for 39 years who had power of attorney. Four of the late musician’s 11 surviving children are raising the possibility that a second will exists, and that Toney is unfit to take over their dad’s estate.
Probate court documents filed Tuesday in Las Vegas by a lawyer for King’s children Patty King, Karen Williams, Rita Washington and Barbara Winfree stop short of repeating previous allegations that LaVerne Toney and another personal aide, Myron Johnson, poisoned B.B. King.
But they allege ahead of a court hearing Friday that Toney — King’s trusted business agent for 39 years who had power of attorney — is unfit to become executor or personal representative of King’s estate.
Brent Bryson, a lawyer representing Toney and the estate, dismissed the allegations as “completely ludicrous” and “unsubstantiated by any true facts.”
The daughters allege that Toney moved more than $1 million out of various bank accounts, denied King proper medical care and changed the locks at his Las Vegas home so that the King of the Blues died “alone without any friends or family by his side.”
Johnson is accused in the documents of pocketing cash, jewelry and funds during King road shows.
King’s physician and the coroner in Las Vegas said King died May 14 at age 89 of natural causes — a series of small strokes attributable to his longstanding battle with Type 2 diabetes. The medical term was multi-infarct dementia.
After Williams and Patty King alleged more than a week later that their father had been murdered, the coroner conducted an autopsy. Toxicology test results are expected in several weeks.
Bryson denied any impropriety by Toney or Johnson and said he had no knowledge of what the daughters’ court filing referred to as a missing will.
A will dated Jan. 18, 2007, and filed May 20 under King’s birth name, Riley B. King, names Toney as sole executor of the estate. Another daughter, Riletta Mitchell, was listed second, but she died in September.
Attorney Larissa Drohobyczer, who filed the 77-page objection to Toney on behalf of the four daughters, has said she represented the entire family and five adult King children dubbed a family board. The five included son Willie King, but he wasn’t named as a party in the court action.
Washington said she believes there is plenty of money in her father’s estate, and that her father provided for Toney and Johnson.
“He knew someone would disagree with his wishes,” Washington said. “What he didn’t count on was … LaVerne Toney attempting to mislead his family on his finances.”
“I hope and pray that the judge will grant us a third, noninterested party to handle my father’s estate,” Washington said.
B.B. King was married twice and had 15 adopted and natural children.
Bryson said Monday the value of King’s estate was being tallied but isn’t expected to amount to the tens of millions of dollars suggested during a failed court bid by Williams to wrest guardianship from Toney before King died.