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Naomi Judd Left Daughters Wynonna & Ashley Out of Her Will — They Still Fulfilled Her Last Wishes

Gaone Pule
Aug 03, 2022
02:30 P.M.
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Late country music crooner Naomi Judd's last will has surfaced, and surprisingly, none of her two daughters, Wynnona and Ashely Judd, were mentioned.

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Country singer Naomi Judd passed away on April 30, 2022, just a day before she and her eldest daughter, Wynonna Judd, were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In a statement, Naomi's children, Wynonna and her younger sister, Ashely Judd, revealed their mother died from mental illness. The mother of two had suffered a long battle with depression.

Singer Wynonna Judd, actress Ashely Judd with their mother, country singer Naomi Judd at the premiere of "Someone Like You" at the Clearview Chelsea West Theater on March 28, 2001 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Singer Wynonna Judd, actress Ashely Judd with their mother, country singer Naomi Judd at the premiere of "Someone Like You" at the Clearview Chelsea West Theater on March 28, 2001 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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One of her wishes was how she would be laid to rest when she died. The Kentucky native planned her funeral, and her children fulfilled them.

Her brother, Mark Judd, delivered the eulogy before her kids took the stage. Ashely thanked her mom for giving her and her older sister a blueprint for her funeral:

"This is very much the service she wanted. She had written it all down, and so she took the guesswork out of it for us, which we thank her for."

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There were "a few hundred" mourners at Naomi's memorial that featured several all-star performances. Her husband, Larry Strickland, joined the Imperials to sing bass when they performed "Sweet, Sweet Spirit."

The Oak Ridge Boys sang "Amazing Grace" and "Farther Along" while The Isaacs performed "Mama's Teaching Angels How to Sing" and "It Is Well With My Soul."

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Singer-songwriter Vince Gill sang the Stanley Brothers' "Drifting Too Far From the Shore," and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, including gospel singer Guy Penrod also performed at the service. Brandi Carlie closed it by belting out "Love Can Build a Bridge." U2 singer Bono recited a poem.

Naomi died in Leipers Fork, Williamson County, Tennessee, at age 76, but her burial details were not publicly revealed. She is survived by her two daughters and her spouse.

NAOMI OMITTED HER DAUGHTERS FROM HER WILL

Ashley Judd with her mom Naomi Judd and sister Wynonna Judd arriving at the "YouthAIDS Annual Benefit Gala 2003" at Capitale on October 27, 2003 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Ashley Judd with her mom Naomi Judd and sister Wynonna Judd arriving at the "YouthAIDS Annual Benefit Gala 2003" at Capitale on October 27, 2003 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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On August 1, 2022, Page Six reported that the actress left out her only two children from her will. Instead, she chose her husband Strickland as the executor of her estate, per court documents.

The Grammy Award winner requested that her singer husband be granted "full authority and discretion" over any asset or property in her name "without the approval of any court or permission from any beneficiary.

Per the documents, Naomi also said that Strickland would be entitled to receive "reasonable compensation" for his services and that he would be reimbursed for all "reasonable expenses, advances, and disbursements, including attorney's and accountant's fees, made or incurred in the administration of my estate."

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In addition, Naomi asked that if her spouse could not foresee her estate for any reason or due to death, her brother-in-law, Reginald Strickland, and Daniel Kris Wiatr, president of Waitr & Associates, would serve as co-executors.

Interestingly, both the appointees mentioned above chose other people instead of Naomi's daughters to oversee her fortune.

Naomi prepared the will nearly five years before her passing on November 20, 2017. Although she suffered a life-long battle with depression, documents state that the "Nearlyweds" star was of sound mind, memory, and understanding, and not under any restraint or in any respect incompetent to make a Testament."

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Witnesses Melissa Sitzler, a senior account manager at the Wiatr & Associates law firm, and Abigail Muelder vouched for Naomi's mental state at the time of her will-making.

It remains unclear whether Wynonna and Ashely are beneficiaries of their mother's estate as none of their names were mentioned in the will.

Legal experts have since weighed in on the matter. Attorney Holly Davis told Page Six that it was uncommon for an individual to appoint a spouse the executor of the will. However, she noted that in Naomi's case, it is evident that she deliberately opted to snub her kids.

Wynonna Judd, Ashley Judd and Naomi Judd during Ashley's movie premiere circa 1996 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Wynonna Judd, Ashley Judd and Naomi Judd during Ashley's movie premiere circa 1996 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Meanwhile, criminal defense attorney, Jason Goldman, said Naomi was "likely advised" to choose her husband of 33 years over her children to avoid a dispute:

"Despite having the opposite intent, wills typically become notoriously difficult to interpret when overly specific. When you then factor in the existence of numerous children, a longer, divided will is inevitably a recipe for misinterpretation and disaster."

Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd speaking onstage during Naomi Judd: "A River Of Time" Celebration at Ryman Auditorium on May 15, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. | Source: Getty Images

Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd speaking onstage during Naomi Judd: "A River Of Time" Celebration at Ryman Auditorium on May 15, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. | Source: Getty Images

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However, Goldman said it does not confirm nor deny whether Wynonna and Ashely have a trust their mother set up before her death:

"The will itself did not mention Naomi's hard assets, which may have already been bestowed upon the children through title transfers."

With an estimated $25 million estate, the New York-based lawyer suggested that in terms of any inheritance, Strickland may "set up an inheritance in line with what he believes Naomi would have wanted for the children" as the overseer.

NAOMI HAD AN ESTRANGED RELATIONSHIP WITH WYNONNA

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According to The List, Naomi and her relationship with her daughters had not always been rosy, especially with Wynonna. While still alive, she and her firstborn were estranged after Naomi hid the truth about Wynonna's biological father.

Ashely and Wynonna have two different fathers, making them half-sisters. However, their mom refrained from telling Wynonna the truth about her birth dad until she was 30.

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The Billboard Music Award winner told Oprah Winfrey in 2006 that it took a while for her to get over the hurt her mother caused her:

"The first thing I said was, 'It's okay.' And of course, I'm raging inside, and I've just now come to realize nine years later, I'm really angry."

Meanwhile, her mother revealed to "Good Morning America" that they often took some time apart from each other. "I love her, but there are just times we need a break from each other. We're still a little estranged from each other," said Naomi.

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Still, the mother and daughter managed to mend their strained relationship. "Wy bore the brunt of all the mistakes I made, and we talk about them. We've been through a lot of therapy together," Naomi stated in 2016.

The Judds band member admitted that she previously made mistakes with her oldest daughter but told CBS News that even when things were difficult, they were always a united front.

"From the day I knew she existed, it was the two of us against the world. Through the decades, we grew up together, and I'm always telling her, 'If I'd known better, I would have done better,'" said Naomi.

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