Trustees of Walt Disney’s grandson negotiate sale of ranch
Written by Associated Press on April 13, 2021
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The trustees of Walt Disney’s grandson Bradford Lund have reportedly negotiated the sale of a family ranch in Wyoming against Lund’s wishes.
Lund has been in a legal battle with his trustees over Eagle South Fork, a 110-acre (45 hectares) ranch near Jackson that was left to Lund and his twin sister by their father, the Casper Star-Tribune reported Saturday.
The property is scheduled to be sold for $35 million, according to a letter sent to Lund and his sister on March 22.
Douglas Strode, the trustee who sent the letter, did not return a request for comment from the newspaper on Friday.
The trustees had their first interested buyer knocking in September, but the sale was prevented by the threat of legal action from Lund’s team of lawyers.
In January, the trustees had told Lund that he could pay over $34 million to retain ownership of his half of the ranch. Michelle Lund was reportedly not interested in keeping her share of the land, the newspaper reported.
Strode’s letter said the trustees do not expect the sale to be finalized until this fall, and an affidavit ordered by Lund’s team has them declare under oath that the sale will not close until September. If the sale goes through before then, the trustees could be guilty of perjury, the newspaper reported.
If the sale does go through, the trustees have indicated they would receive a 2% “marketing fee” for facilitating the deal. Chris Hawks, a lawyer representing Lund, said that type of deal is highly unusual.
“I’ve been doing trust administration work for 22 years, and I’ve never seen a situation where a trustee got a fee for the sale of an asset,” Hawks told the Star-Tribune in February. “And I’ve been involved in literally billions of dollars of assets sales through trusts.”
Separately from the litigation regarding the Wyoming ranch, Lund has also petitioned the Los Angeles County Probate Court to remove his team of trustees from their positions and has cited a pattern of violations of their duties to him as the trust’s beneficiary.
Lund, now 50, has struggled to access inheritance payments that have been withheld for more than 15 years, as trustees have claimed that he is mentally incompetent to receive the money, the newspaper reported.
Lund was meant to receive payments of about $20 million every five years between his 35th and 45th birthdays.
“I continue to believe that each of you individually and collectively have again taken actions hostile to my interests in what I feel is clear violation of your fiduciary duties owed to me,” Lund wrote in a letter to his trustees on March 5. “I am still seriously considering taking additional legal action for this and past violations of your duties.”