Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Who inherited Harper Lee's fortune? None of your damn business.

Alabama judge Greg Norris has signed an order to seal Lee’s will from public view, according to court records.

Lawyers for Lee’s personal representative and attorney, Tonja Carter, had asked for the will to remain private and Lee’s heirs and relatives agreed to the request, according to the court filing.

“As the Court is no doubt aware, Ms Lee highly valued her privacy,” the lawyers wrote.

“She did not wish for her private financial affairs to be matters of public discussion. Ms Lee left a considerable legacy for the public in her published works; it is not the public’s business what private legacy she left for the beneficiaries of her will.”

Carter represented Lee for several years and once practiced law with the writer’s sister, Alice Lee.

In a two-page order issued last week, Norris wrote that he agreed there was a threat of public intrusion and harassment for Lee’s heirs. They and Lee’s next of kin have a right to inspect the contents of the will and accompanying file, but no one else does, he wrote. The order indicated that Norris held a hearing on the motion.

The judge ordered that a label be put on the file stating, “Under seal: do not allow public inspection.”

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