Does a contract die with one of the parties?
Famed record producer Quincy Jones is suing the estate of Michael Jackson over unpaid royalties for recordings released after Jackson’s death. Sony Music Entertainment is also named in the lawsuit. Jones claims that Michael Jackson’s songs were remixed with the intent to cut Jones out and deprive him of royalties. He is asking for $10 million in damages for alleged unpaid royalties, breach of contract, and compensation for lost credit. Quincy’s claims relate to the 25th anniversary release of Jackson’s Bad, the film and soundtrack This Is It, and a Cirque du Soleil production based on Jackson’s work.
Depending on the circumstances and the text of the contract, you may have a contract claim against a decedent’s estate. But if the family members of a deceased person refuse to pay your contract claim, you as a creditor may be forced to litigate your claim, or bring a lawsuit, against the estate. A breach of contract claim can be very complicated, especially when probate law is involved. Without a Texas business litigation attorney familiar with contract law, you will have an uphill battle proving your case and protecting your rights under the contract.
There are very strict time limits for bringing breach of contract claims, and claims against a decedent’s estate may be subject to additional deadlines. Timeliness is very important when bringing a contract claim. If you are considering bringing a contract claim, I encourage you to contact a Houston, Texas business litigation attorney as soon as possible to secure your rights and ensure that you receive the benefit you’re entitled to under your contract.
The attorney for Jackson’s estate says that Quincy Jones has been fully compensated under his contracts with Michael Jackson. It may take years for this case to finally resolve.