ELIZABETH TAYLOR ESTATE LITIGATION FOCUSES ON SALE OF DIAMOND

Older residents of Miami may still love watching Elizabeth Taylor films. She was one of the most glamorous actresses of her time and she still lives in the heart and minds of millions of her fans. Since her death in 2011 her assets have been managed by a trust that takes care of her estate’s affairs. Taylor’s jewelry collection and other belongings were auctioned by a New York auction house in 2011 and 2012.

Now the late actress’s estate has attracted headlines in an estate litigation matter involving the trustees of her estate and the auction house that sold some of her jewelry and other belongings. The dispute involves a heart-shaped diamond known as the Taj Mahal given to her by then-husband Richard Burton on the occasion of her 40th birthday.

The trustees of Taylor’s estate have filed a lawsuit against the auction house accusing it of improperly cancelling the sale of the diamond after it was purchased by an anonymous buyer. The lawsuit alleges the buyer demanded the sale be cancelled several months after the auction because the buyer concluded the diamond was not from the Mughal period.

The lawsuit alleges that the auction house had not given a guarantee about the age of the diamond and described it only as being of Indian origin. Christie’s has demanded that Taylor’s trust return more than $7 million that it had received from the sale of the diamond.

The trustees also claim that the auction house has not returned unsold items to them in order to pressure the trust to return the sale proceeds of the diamond. In a statement, Christie’s stated that the auction house was looking forward to the speedy resolution of the litigation.

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Written by Luis E. Barreto

Luis E. Barreto

Luis is a probate and guardianship litigator with over 23 years of experience in the field. Determination of heirs, will contests, breaches of fiduciary duty, removal of personal representatives, guardians and trustees are just some of the types of litigation he addresses. In addition, he administers non-contested estates and guardianships.