(CN) – A Florida judge ended a 15-year battle over writer Jack Kerouac’s estate, ruling that his mother’s will was a fake. Gabrielle Kerouac purportedly left her son’s assets to his third wife, but Jack’s daughter and nephew insisted the will had been forged.
When she died in 1973, Gabrielle ostensibly willed Kerouac’s manuscripts, letters and personal belongings to Stella Sampas Kerouac. The Sampas family has since controlled the estate, which is reportedly worth around $20 million.
A judge in Pinellas County ended the prolonged litigation on Friday, ruling that the will was a forgery.
“Clearly, Gabrielle Kerouac was physically unable to sign the document dated February 13, 1973 and, more importantly, that which appears on the will dated that date is not her signature,” Judge George W. Greer wrote.
“The court does not have to decide who in fact signed her name on the document. It is enough that Gabrielle Kerouac herself did not sign it.”
Kerouac, born Jean-Louis Kerouac, was an influential Beat Generation writer and author of “On the Road.” He died at home in 1969, at 47 years old.