YOUNGSTOWN Widow files suit vs. estate
Robert Sweeney's widow asks that a premarital agreement be declared void.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The widow of a former owner of a Boardman car dealership is suing his estate and children after being left $25,000 in his will.
Marilyn Sweeney of North Lima wants at least one-third of the estate of Robert Sweeney, former owner of Youngstown Buick Pontiac GMC Truck. Robert Sweeney died in June at age 72.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court says the estate is worth many millions of dollars, but Mrs. Sweeney's attorney, David Young of Columbus, said he isn't sure of the exact amount.
Sweeney also created a marital trust, which provides Mrs. Sweeney with income. Young declined to reveal the amount.
Defendants are the estate, four children from Sweeney's first marriage and various trusts he created.
The children include Douglas and David Sweeney, who are now operating the dealership.
They issued a statement that said they couldn't comment on specifics because they haven't seen the suit.
"Bob [Sweeney] went to great lengths to assure that Marilyn would be well provided for," the statement said. "She was well aware of and participated in the planning of his estate. We know that our father would be especially disappointed in Marilyn's actions."
Robert and Marilyn Sweeney were married in 1976, the second marriage for each.
They signed an agreement that says that neither of them would have any claim on assets that the other held at that time.
The agreement lists Robert Sweeney's assets at $758,000 at that time, including $315,000 for his stake in the car dealership. It lists her assets at $222,000. Mrs. Sweeney was president of Tee-Nee Trailer Co. at the time.
The suit says Mrs. Sweeney signed the agreement without knowing what Sweeney's assets were and added that she didn't have time to review the agreement with a lawyer.
It also alleges that Sweeney moved millions of dollars into trusts in the 1990s so that virtually all of his assets were out of his estate. It says Sweeney moved the money to prevent Mrs. Sweeney from taking action in case the premarital agreement was declared void.