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Joseph Yule dies, leaves $18k estate and lessons re: elder abuse

Ninian Joseph Yule Jr. passed away recently. He was 93 and had been in show business for more than 88 years. He starred in more than 200 movies -- even if he was not the lead, he was always a star. Like so many actors of the 1930s and '40s, his personal life was often more interesting than his work. He was married eight times and had as many or more children and step-children. His was not the typical story of an actor who peaked early and then fell apart.

This guy, this Ninian Joseph Yule Jr., had his downs, but they were always followed by ups. His resilience and adaptability were evident when, having never played Texas Hold 'Em before, he was, according to IMDb.com, ranked seventh on the World Poker Tour Invitational.

From the age of 7 or so, he was known to the public as Mickey Rooney. At the time of his death, his estate was valued at just $18,000.

Rooney had been in the news in recent years for a very unhappy reason: He claimed he was the victim of elder abuse. In 1998, Rooney handed his affairs over to his stepson Christopher, one of his widow's two children. In 2011, he told Congress that Christopher and Christopher's wife had engaged in a pattern of financial and verbal abuse. Soon after, Rooney's court-appointed conservator took the matter to court.

According to court documents, the couple controlled Rooney's money without giving him a full or accurate accounting. They had used the money for themselves, the lawsuit said, all the while assailing him verbally and refusing him food and medicine, among other things.

The matter took two years to settle. Rooney, through his conservator, agreed that Christopher and his wife would pay him $2.8 million. At the time of Rooney's death, the entire debt was still outstanding.

The lawsuit apparently took a toll on his marriage, as well. Rooney and his wife, Christopher's mother, were separated in 2012. She claims she learned of his death from the media.

Which brings us to Rooney's will, which, in turn, takes us to next week's post.

Source: CNBC, "The ‘double life’ of Mickey Rooney," Ed Gjertsen II, April 10, 2014ABC News, "Rooney's Estate Goes to Stepson Who Was Caretaker," Anthony Mccartney (Associated Press), April 8, 2014

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