When actor Tony Curtis died in September, 2011, his will intentionally disinherited all five of his children and left everything to his fifth wife, Jill Vandenberg Curtis, and to his charity.
Last month, the Tony Curtis Estate conducted an auction of hundreds of memorabilia items, netting the estate an additional $1 million. According to his daughter, Allegra Curtis, none of the children were advised of the auction and the widow gave them nothing to remember their father by.
According to an interview Allegra gave to Inside Edition, Curtis' children were "blindsided" by the disinheritance and Allegra says she doesn't believe the new will he drafted just four months prior to his September 2010 death was reflective of his last wishes. She told the program that being disinherited by her father was "devastating".
Another daughter, Kelly Lee Curtis, has sued over her father's trust, and has accused his widow of exerting undue influence over him when he changed his will to disinherit his five children. That suit is currently pending in a Las Vegas court.
As noted in a Forbes post about the case, when a will and/or trust excludes children entirely in favor of a spouse, it is almost a guarantee that a lawsuit will be filed to contest that will; especially when it is changed shortly prior to death.
Blended families are especially vulnerable when it comes to estate battles, which is why it is advisable to consult with an estate planner when making final inheritance plans.