Leonard Cohen’s kids in inheritance battle with his manager after attorneys forged Trust document

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Leonard Cohen’s manager has been accused of fleecing the late singer-songwriter’s estate after it emerged his former lawyer forged a document putting him in charge of the $48 million fortune.  

Robert Kory is locked in a nasty inheritance battle with Cohen’s children who claim he has been acting a Trustee of their father’s estate on the basis of ‘forgery and fraud.’ 

Adam Cohen, 50, and his 48-year-old sister Lorca are now fighting to remove Kory from their father’s estate, have him turn over its assets and return any money he earned from his activity in the role.

However Kory – who says he was not aware of the forged document – claims he has made the children ‘enormously wealthy’ from commercial deals he oversaw during his time managing Cohen’s assets.  

It comes as Kory’s former attorney Reeve Chudd admitted to removing a page from Cohen’s signed trust and replacing it with one stating his client was the primary trustee. 

Leonard Cohen’s kids in inheritance battle with his manager after attorneys forged Trust document

Robert Kory has been accused of fleecing late singer-songwriter’s Leonard Cohen’s estate after it emerged his lawyer forged a document naming him a trustee

Lorca Cohen, right, and Adam Cohen, left, are locked in a nasty inheritance battle over their father's fortune

Lorca Cohen, right, and Adam Cohen, left, are locked in a nasty inheritance battle over their father’s fortune

It makes Chudd guilty of felony – though he claims it was a ‘horrible mistake.’

Cohen, who is most famed for his song Hallelujah, died in 2016 aged 82 following a fall in the middle of the night at his Los Angeles home.

He left behind an archive worth more than $48 million which includes 250 journals he kept since being a child, poetry books, photos and millions of dollars in royalties. 

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Back in December it was revealed Lorca and Adam had filed a lawsuit against Kory, 72, in the Los Angeles Superior Court. 

At the time they accused him of forging documents in 2005 to take control of the singer’s assets. 

Their attorney Adam Streisand accused Kory and his lawyers in December of attempting to ‘fleece the estate of millions of dollars.’  

Kory has placed the blame for the forgery with attorney Reeve Chudd whom he claims ‘modified a document unbeknownst to anybody.’

But a motion filed by Lorca and Adam says his claims ‘strain credulity.’

Cohen died in 2016 following a fall in his Los Angeles home. He is pictured performing at Glastonbury Festival in 2008

Cohen died in 2016 following a fall in his Los Angeles home. He is pictured performing at Glastonbury Festival in 2008

Despite not having control of their father's estate, Lorca and Adam receive $400,000 each year. Pictured: then 16-year-old Lorca with Leonard

Lorca and Adam’s attorney accused Kory and his lawyers in December of attempting to ‘fleece the estate of millions of dollars.’ Pictured: then 16-year-old Lorca with Leonard 

Streisand claimed that the singer left behind two different signed versions of his trust with one leaving his assets to Lorca, Adam and his ex-wife Anjani Thomas. Pictured: Thomas and Adam

 A motion filed by the brothers and sister says Robert Kory’s version of events of ‘strains credulity’

Previously Kory had labelled the discrepancy a ‘scrivener’s error’ – meaning an unintentional court mistake.

In a deposition seen by Variety, Chudd is asked ‘You did not notarize Leonard Cohen’s signatures to this version of the restatement of the Leonard Cohen family trust, right?’ 

He replied: ‘Yes. It was a horrible mistake on my part to create this document,’

The attorney then admits he physically created the document after Cohen’s death in 2016. 

‘I substituted the pages in the original document.’

According to the motion, the children claim there is no ‘valid instrument by Leonard  designating Kory to serve in that capacity. 

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‘Since Leonard’s death in 2016, Kory has been holding himself out as trustee and exercising control over the trust and its assets solely on the basis of forgery and fraud.’

Kory alleges he did not read or look at the trust documents before signing them.

However Cohen’s heirs say that if his account is true it still proves he is not suited to be a trustee. 

Kory is also said to have paid himself and others, including his son hundreds of thousands of dollars to store and maintain Cohen’s archive. 

The motion also claims the manager backdated a document that enabled him to stage an exhibition and book of Cowen’s drawings and poetry at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

The exhibition is currently on show at the gallery, having opened in December and scheduled to close in April. 

The document claimed the trust owned the materials when they were actually owned by the heirs and the trust. 

But the issue is complicated by the fact Kory claims to have generated large returns for the estate which has made the children ‘enormously wealthy.’

The manager negotiated a deal in 2022 wherein Hipgnosis Songs acquired the rights to 278 songs and derivatives written by Cohen including songs such as ‘Hallelujah,’ ‘Suzanne’ and ‘Bird on the Wire.’

An earlier document claimed the deal was worth $58 million. 

The lawsuit alleges Cohen was ‘dying’ and ‘heavily medicated’ when he signed a July 2016 agreement that gave Kory a 15 percent commission on such sales.

Kory is accused in full of wrongfully entering into business ventures and agreements on behalf of the Trust without the consent of Cohen’s children; of refusing to provide them with material information regarding those transactions; of misappropriating assets owned by them and transferring those assets to the trust; of refusing to distribute Trust assets to the heirs ‘in order to continue to wrongfully enrich himself.’

A trial is scheduled for March 29. 

In a to the New York Post last December, Streisand said: ‘Leonard Cohen’s lawyers and manager forged his trust so they could fleece the estate of millions of dollars and steal the Hall of Famer’s legacy from his own children.’

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