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Sunday 21 September 2014

Rooney leaves estate to stepson

Published 09/04/2014 | 03:07

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Mickey Rooney has left most of his estate to the stepson who cared for him in his last years (AP)

Mickey Rooney has left the bulk of his modest estate to a stepson who cared for the entertainer in his final years.

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Documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court show Rooney signed his final will and trust on March 11, less than a month before his death on Sunday at 93. The filing states that his estate is currently worth an estimated 18,000 dollars (£10,700).

Rooney named his stepson and caretaker Mark Rooney and his wife as the sole beneficiaries of his estate.

The Andy Hardy star, whose career spanned more than 80 years in showbusiness, lost much of his fortune in recent years.

He said he was a victim of elder abuse and financial mismanagement and went to live with Mark Rooney, repaying his debts and continuing to appear in movies.

The actor designated his lawyer Michael Augustine to serve as the executor of his estate, stating that he did not want any relative handling his final affairs.

Rooney's will disinherited his eight surviving children, as well as his estranged wife. Jan Rooney will receive her husband's social security benefits and some of his pension earnings as a result of a previous agreement.

Mr Augustine said Rooney's children were in better financial situations than their father, so he felt it was appropriate to leave Mark Rooney all he had left.

Rooney, the star of the Andy Hardy films and Hollywood's highest paid actor in the late 1930s and early 1940s, was a product of the industry's old studio system and was not entitled to hefty royalty payments, Mr Augustine said.

Plans are still being made for Rooney's burial and a possible tribute. An agreement was reached yesterday not to move the actor's body from a mortuary until a court hearing on Friday that may help determine where he is to be laid to rest.

Mr Augustine said that while Rooney has a burial plot in Westlake Village, north west of Los Angeles, the actor had said recently he wanted to be buried in Hollywood or a veterans' cemetery.

"We were going to buy plots," Mr Augustine said, but the actor "didn't have any money".

He said the family would like to have a small private service, but hoped a larger celebration of Rooney's life and career could be arranged with help from film companies.

Press Association

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