Settlement in Beloved Author’s Probate Litigation

Many Georgia readers are familiar with the work of author Maurice Sendak. Perhaps best known for his book “Where the Wild Things Are,” Sendak touched the lives of many and will forever hold a place among American children’s authors. Sendak passed away in 2012, and his estate has been involved in probate litigation since then.

A long-running lawsuit was recently settled between the estate of Maurice Sendak and the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia. At issue in the case was the distribution of nearly 800 rare books once owned by Sendak. Two of those books are estimated to be worth millions. It is unclear why ownership of the books was in question or what the previous arrangements were between the author and the library concerning those materials.

The Rosenbach had previously received more than 200 titles in various lawsuits, while others were awarded to the Sendak estate. Details of the recent settlement have not been made public, and requests for information have not been answered by the Rosenbach museum and library. In 2014, more than 10,000 pieces of original material that Sendak created were given back to the Sendak foundation by the Rosenbach.

As this case illustrates, probate litigation can be a lengthy and stressful process. This is especially true when a significant amount of wealth is involved, which was certainly an issue in this case. When faced with the potential of probate litigation, the best course of action for Georgia residents is to take an aggressive legal stance in the matter.

Source:, “Settlement reached in Rosenbach’s Maurice Sendak lawsuit“, Peter Dobrin, Nov. 29, 2016

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