Estate Battle Shifts into High Gear Between Truck Dealership Owner’s Widow and Sons

The company posted $172 million in profit on $4.7 billion in revenue in 2017.

Marvin Rush II founded, what is now the biggest commercial truck dealership chain in North America. Lawsuits are now flying, between his third wife and his son, who claims that his father was incapacitated when new wills were created.

Marvin-rush-chairman-emeritus*750xx760-428-0-46The dispute over the estate of W. Marvin Rush II, between his wife Barbara Rush and his son, W.M. “Rusty” Rush lll, has led to both parties filing lawsuits.

The San Antonio Express-News reports in its article, “Dueling wills filed over late truck dealer Marvin Rush’s estate,” that chief among the assets at stake is most of Marvin’s stock in Rush Enterprises. That’s the business he founded, grew, and later took public. There are now more than 100 Rush Truck Centers in 22 states, and shares in the company are worth about $74 million. The company posted $172 million in profit on $4.7 billion in revenue in 2017. It employs nearly 7,000 workers.

Rusty claims those shares belong to him, based on his father’s 2006 will. Barbara says her husband of 26 years revoked that will, when he made a new one in May 2013 and then another in November 2013. The 2013 wills don’t have any specific bequest of Marvin’s shares, so Barbara says they’re part of his residuary estate. She’s the sole beneficiary.

Rusty alleges that his dad suffered from dementia, when he signed the 2013 wills. Barbara disagrees.

Marvin’s obituary said that in “his last few years” he battled Lewy Body Dementia, which can have a range of symptoms. They include problems with thinking, memory, moving and changes in behaviors.

Rusty filed his opposition to probating either of the 2013 wills. He said that the onset of his father’s dementia was at least five to eight years prior to his death, “thus placing Mr. Rush’s mental capacity in doubt from May 2010 onward.”

Marvin completely disinherited Rusty in the 2013 wills. They will stated, “I do not wish to make any provision hereunder for my son William Maurice Rush, III, or any of his descendants.”

Barbara was named the executor of Marvin’s estate in the 2006 will and in each of the 2013 wills.

The two 2013 wills, which cut Rusty out of any inheritance, “represented a dramatic departure from (Marvin’s) long-standing estate plan of leaving his shares of Stock in Rush Enterprises to his son Rusty,” Rusty’s filing states.

“These wills were also executed shortly after Mr. Rush, apparently with the encouragement of his wife, Barbara, had formed an irrational belief that his son Rusty was somehow ‘at fault’ when the Board of Directors insisted that Mr. Rush step down as Chairman of the Board in May of 2013,” Rusty’s filing continues.

Barbara challenges Rusty’s argument, saying that the 2013 wills were prepared by a law firm and signed by two witnesses.

Barbara’s argument is that if Marvin truly lacked capacity or was being subjected to undue influence by her, when the will was made in May 2013, then how was it possible that Rusty, who was the CEO and president of Rush Enterprises could have entered into a “Retirement and Transition Agreement” with his father at that time?

Expect this to be a long, drawn out estate battle.

Reference: San Antonio Express-News (August 24, 2018) “Dueling wills filed over late truck dealer Marvin Rush’s estate”

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