Here's Who Inherited Tom Petty's Money After His Death

Tom Petty's sudden death at the age of 66 in October of 2017 from an accidental overdose came as a shock. The American musician's songs had been staples of rock radio since the late-1970s, and Petty had just wrapped up a 40th-anniversary tour with his band, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. In his final interview, with the Los Angeles Times, Petty said he hoped to soon release an extended edition of his 1994 album "Wildflowers" and tour in support of it.

Then the news trickled out that Petty had been rushed to the hospital. It didn't sound good. According to TMZ, he was found in his home unconscious and in full cardiac arrest. By the time he arrived at the hospital, the man who wrote the soundtrack to much of American life had no brain activity. His family took him off of life support. He died on October 2, the day after he was found unconscious.

Petty left behind his second wife, Dana York Petty, a step-son named Dylan, and two adult daughters, Adria and AnnaKim, from his first wife of 22 years, Jane Benyo, according to Biography. Petty and York married in 2001, according to Rolling Stone. It was Dana, Adria, and AnnaKim who inherited Petty's estate, but the wording in his will led to legal battles between the women.

Tom Petty's daughters sued his widow

According to the law firm Holstrom Block & Parke, Petty named his wife the sole trustee of his estate. That included publishing rights to his voluminous music catalog. Per the will, his daughters were to have input as to how to best manage all of that going forward. The issue, then, was that Petty did not specify how three parties involved in managing his legacy should make decisions going forward.

As these things often do when a lot of money is on the line, there were disputes about how things were being handled and the women took the situation to the courts. According to Rolling Stone, the daughters sued their step-mom for $5 million, claiming she was not allowing their will-stipulated "equal participation," which they interpreted as allowing them each a controlling vote alongside Dana York Petty in determining the decisions of the estate.

"This misguided and meritless lawsuit sadly demonstrates exactly why Tom Petty designated his wife to be the sole trustee with authority to manage his estate," Dana York Petty's attorney, Adam Streisand, told Variety.

His wife and daughters later came to a settlement

In 2019, a settlement agreement was reached that appeared to give Petty's daughters equal say in managing his estate. According to the Los Angeles Times, Petty's daughters and his widow released a joint statement that said, "We are pleased to announce the formation of Tom Petty Legacy LLC to manage all aspects of Tom's legacy. We are committed to honoring Tom's voice, music, integrity, and his charitable spirit."

The statement also said that Petty's wife and daughters had gotten over any bad blood, adding, "they have resolved their differences and dismissed all litigation matters that had been filed related to Tom's estate. Each of them sincerely regrets that in their intense grief over Tom's tragic death, actions were taken that were hurtful to one another."

The three women also announced in the statement that they had hired a new management team to guide Petty's legacy. Petty's posthumous releases have been prolific (via AllMusic) and include a number of compilation albums, as well as an upcoming collection of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers live recordings at their 1997 residency at the Fillmore in San Francisco, according to Ultimate Classic Rock.