Estate of Denial: The secret legal agreement designed to settle the brawl over the estate of civil rights leader Rosa Parks is a secret no more.
The confidential seven-page document — signed by Parks’ 15 nieces and nephews, Parks’ longtime friend and caregiver Elaine Steele and an official of the institute Parks and Steele founded — turned up in a Jan. 18 filing with the Michigan Supreme Court.
The agreement — struck during a late-night bargaining session in February 2007 in order to avert a trial in Wayne County Probate Court — spells out how the parties are to divvy up the proceeds from the sale of Parks’ belongings, said to be worth up to $8 million because of their historic value.
Under the agreement, Steele and the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development will get 80% of the net proceeds from the sale of Parks’ possessions, as well as the royalties from licensing her name, image and likeness. The nieces and nephews are to get 20%.
Continue reading more details on the deal to settle Rosa Parks’ estate.