A Florida judge has ruled that the will of Gabrielle Kerouac, the mother of the late author who inherited his estate in 1969, was a forgery, citing testimony from handwriting experts and doctors. Gabrielle had passed the literary estate to Kerouac’s third wife, Stella, now also deceased, who gave everything to her siblings in 1990.
The suit was brought by the author’s reportedly impoverished nephew Paul Blake Jr., who took over the original action filed by Kerouac’s estranged (and now also deceased) daughter Jan in 1994. It’s not clear whether the new court ruling will bring Blake a share of the estate or any proceeds, however. For now the estate is controlled by Stella’s brother John Sampas. Blake’s lawyer Bill Wagner “said he needs to research whether Blake can now claim part of the Kerouac estate — worth as much as $20 million…. He may be due a third of the estate” but “‘Paul has said he doesn’t expect to get any money,'” according to Wagner.
Blake has a letter from the author in which he wrote: “I just want to leave my estate . . . to someone directly connected with the last remaining drop of my direct blood line . . . and not to leave a ding-blasted . . . thing to my wife’s one hundred Greek relatives.”
Tampa Bay paper