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MargaretMason50

Family heritage

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My name is MP(Mason) and my two uncles BM and HM where famous animators. My uncle Hal created Mr. Clean, He-Man etc. We have a Mason family trust and there are only 5 of us masons left. My uncle Hal died in 1983 and my aunt passed away in 2006. The will they had together was the one that went into the court. My aunt has a cousin who tried to pencil herself into the will and supposedly it didnt work. This cousin came from Baltimore 3 days before my aunt died and took a bunch of my uncles drawings and so forth. I have recently noticed that someone is selling his drawings and using our name. This person came in and stole all of heritage and we have nothing left. I want to find this person and sue them but I dont know what to do first. Since they took this stuff before my aunt passed it wasnt in the will. My uncle was the one who made a name for himself not my aunt. This cousin isnt blood related and Im furious. Please help me. MP (Mason)California

[This post has been edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator]

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I don't know why you'd think we'd need to know names (and it's against posting rules in any event).

If the drawings weren't the aunt's personal property vs. an asset of the trust, I'm not sure what to tell you; they belong to the aunt. If they were stolen from the aunt and she didn't bother to report it to the police, I don't see anyone arguing post-death successfully that the aunt didn't hand them to the cousin.


I don't know what you expect folks to tell you, or what your question is.

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No need to be snarky; was just pointing out an objective person's view. Whomever's in charge of auntie's estate is, again, free to see what they can do about it if they think they can establish to a court's satisfaction that the person wasn't given the stuff by the aunt. Someone trying to argue the drawings didn't belong to the aunt in the first place would have a tough time.

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Your post is very difficult to follow and contains a bunch of unnecessary details.

As far as I can tell, you're saying that, somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-5 years ago, your "cousin" (if he's not a blood relative, was he adopted by your aunt and uncle?) visited your aunt and "took" some drawings (that you apparently claim belonged to her). It's not clear from your post how you claim to know that your aunt didn't give the drawings to this "cousin." You also didn't say how it is that you "noticed" that this person is selling the drawings or how you purport to know that the drawings in question aren't legally owned by this person.

You have several problems here, the first of which is that you almost certainly have no standing to sue. You don't appear to claim that these drawings belong to you. Rather, you seem to believe that hey were "stolen" from your aunt. Even if we accept as true the proposition that they were stolen, it's not clear why you think you should be able to sue. Were you (or are you) the executor of your aunt's estate? If not, I don't see how you have any standing to sue.

The second problem is that this alleged "theft" appears to have occurred 4-5 years ago. You didn't say in what state this supposedly happened (you mention that you are in CA, but it's not clear that's where this alleged theft occurred). If it was in CA, then the statute of limitations has expired. If it was somewhere else, then the statute of limitations is at least a concern.

Third, as mentioned, it's not clear how you would prove that he aunt didn't simply give the drawings to this cousin. What evidence do you have?

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I was trying to keep the story short and to the point. My twin brother was the executor of the estate. My aunt and uncle had a will that states that after both of their deaths jewelry was to go to the cousin which is my aunts cousin by marriage. Everything else was to go to my dad, and his children, myself, my two brothers and two sisters. This cousin tried to PENCIL her name into the will . My twin brother was staying at the house which he got, and called us and stated that this cousin showed up and started going thru everything. My brother assumed she was going thru the jewelry like the will states is hers. He left the house and left her there. I never had any grandparents, cousins nothing only my two uncles and my dad. This is our only family remeberence. My dad was born in England and all of our family heirlooms are gone. YOU ASK ME WHY I THINK THIS SHOULD BE MINE??

DO YOU THINK SOMEONE WHO ISN'T EVEN BLOOD RELATED BE ENTITLED TO THIS? Do you think that they give a .... about any of this stuff thats why they are selling it?? What do you think original drawings of Oswald the rabbit would be worth?? How about Mr. clean or Pillsbury doughboy?? Or the frito bandido? He-Man, She-rah, The cricket for cricket lighter comercials on t.v.?? Both my uncles worked with Hanna Barbera and Walter Lantz.

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I think that you should consult with an experienced probate attorney and explore the possibility of suing your brother for his failure to safeguard the estate's assets. It sounds like he did not do a very good job.

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MargaretMason50 said...

YOU ASK ME WHY I THINK THIS SHOULD BE MINE?

No, I didn't. I asked you why you think you should have standing to sue for something that apparently wasn't yours at the time it was allegedly stolen.

MargaretMason50 said...

DO YOU THINK SOMEONE WHO ISN'T EVEN BLOOD RELATED BE ENTITLED TO THIS?

I don't have any feelings one way or another, and feelings about who is or should be "entitled" to something or the distinction between blood relatives and whatever else you're talking about isn't legally relevant. I pointed out three very significant and problematic legal issues, but your follow up doesn't really address any of those things. Instead, it seems that all you want to do is boast about your family heritage and entitlement and other things that aren't legally relevant. Those things are all well and wonderful if you're issuing a press release, but they don't mean squat in a court of law. It seems that your beef should be with your brother who, as executor of your aunt's estate, apparently did not address these issues in a proper or timely manner.

MargaretMason50 said...

Do you think that they give a .... about any of this stuff thats why they are selling it?

Again, I don't care one way or the other, and this isn't legally relevant.

MargaretMason50 said...

What do you think original drawings of Oswald the rabbit would be worth?

What on Earth does that have to do with your situation? I certainly hope you're not going to claim your uncle created that character as well. By the way, I feel compelled to point out that your uncle did not create Mr. Clean. Mr. Clean was created by a couple of advertising agency employees in Chicago. Your uncle simply modified their pre-existing artwork (which was used in print advertising) for use in TV commercials. Nor can I find any evidence that he created any of the He Man characters (which appear to have been created by employees of the toy company that "created" the original action figures. There's a difference between "creating" a character and working as an animator on pre-existing characters. I also find it a little curious that you incorrectly identified your uncle's year of death (he died in 1986, not 1983).

As for the rest of your follow up post, your pride in your family's history is understandable, but it's not legally relevant.

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MargaretMason50 said...

I apollogize for simply asking what recourse I have if any.

There's no need to apologize about asking about legal recourse. I didn't take any issue with your original post. In my original response, I largely ignored all the bravado in your original post. I answered your legal questions politely and concisely and raised three very legitimate concerns, which are things that any attorney looking at the situation would raise. I only took issue, when, in your follow up post, you mischaracterized my initial response and raised a whole bunch of irrelevant details (and that's putting aside issues of tone and attitude raised by your use of all caps and multiple question marks and exclamation points). I'm sorry that you didn't get the response you had hoped for, but sometimes, when you think you have a viable legal claim, you really don't.

MargaretMason50 said...

Im sure this means way more for me than you, and it should. I just ask this question " WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE IN MY SHOES?IF THIS WAS THE END OF THE LINE TO YOUR FAMILY NAME?"

I have no idea what the last part of this means. Whether someone whose selling a drawing or multiple drawings that your uncle made has nothing to do with "the end of the line [of] your family name." Whether and how your uncle is remembered isn't going to be affected by the sale of some of his drawings by a person who might not have obtained them legally.

As for what I would do if I were in your shoes, it's difficult to assess that without also assessing what I did, did not do, and should have done when all of these events transpired in 2006. Since I don't know what you did at that time or why, it becomes even more difficult to address the "what would you do?" question. Certain, if, in 2006, I had been in your shoes (and assuming that I had been as concerned about all this "heritage" and "family name" stuff as you seem to be -- which I'm generally not), I would have address these issues immediately, instead of waiting four to five years. Had I neglected to do anything about it for four to five years, I would not react harshly upon being told that I lack standing, that the statute of limitations may be a problem, and that there is a legitimate concern over how to prove that the items in question were stolen as opposed to having been gifted by a now deceased person. I would also be thankful if a professional took time from his busy day to provide me with free information.

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web site-Hal Mason/animator. I am sure that you sir, have got to be the best attorney

money can buy since you have had nothing of importance to say to anyone. You show no respect

for anyone that isnt as smart as you or should I say as cunning. We are here to ask for help.

I do not appreciate being called a liar. Should I call you a misinformed son .. . ....?

All you have to do is put in Hal Mason/animator and hit search. Have a nice day

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MargaretMason50 said...

The end means THE END. Both of my brothers didnt have kids which means as far as the Mason name it ends here.I have no cousins. My father was the only one who had kids. My mom was an only child so, we are it. Thats what I mean

Ok, but (a) you said you have a brother (who can "carry on the name"), (B) your maiden name is incredibly common, and © none of this has anything to do with the sale of the artwork in question.

MargaretMason50 said...

you have had nothing of importance to say to anyone.

That's obviously a patently silly conclusion.

MargaretMason50 said...

You show no respect for anyone that isnt as smart as you or should I say as cunning.

That's obviously not the case. Please re-read my initial response and explain how it was disrespectful in any way. It was only when you started attacking me that I dropped the veil of "respect." Respect is earned, and you didn't earn it.

MargaretMason50 said...

I do not appreciate being called a liar.

Few people do. Nor do many people appreciate being falsely accused, which is what you're doing here. To the extent you're saying that I called you a liar, you are wrong (if you're talking about some of the misinformation you posted, my assumption was that you were simply mistaken). Thus, while I did not previously call you a liar, I now am.

MargaretMason50 said...

Should I call you a misinformed son .. . ....?

I see no reason for you to do so.

MargaretMason50 said...

All you have to do is put in [HM]/animator and hit search.

I did. That's how I discerned that your information was erroneous.

MargaretMason50 said...

Have a nice day

You too. :-)

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