Bradford Lund, Disney Heir, Asks Court to Release Him From State Custody; Son of Developer Bill Lund in Fight Over Fortune

Bradford Lund, heir to an immense Disney fortune and son of local developer Bill Lund, wants a federal judge to fire his state-appointed legal guardian.

Lund, his father, and other members of the family have been embroiled in a nasty fight over hundreds of millions of dollars in a trust left to Walt Disney's grandkids. An article about the flap last year in the Arizona Republic exposed the family's squabble and how it ended up in probate court.

In a nutshell, Bill Lund married Disney's daughter, Sharon, back in the 60s, and had twins with her. After their divorce in 1977, Bill was made one of the trustees to the kids' fortune. He and his daughter, Michelle, had a falling out after she suspected him of dabbling in her financial affairs while she was laid up in 2009 with a medical condition.

Michelle's twin, Brad Lund, 41, who is reportedly developmentally disabled, was drawn into the squabble following disagreements over his living arrangements (and his money, of course).

Brad had lived with his stepsister's family, next door to his father, in Paradise Valley. But Michelle and other family members on her side of the fight petitioned the court successfully to have Brad made a ward of the state, with an attorney appointed as legal guardian. They claimed that Brad was held as a "virtual captive" at the stepsister's home, and that his money was being spent by other people, according to the Repub's article.

The case even led to a Tempe lawyer being handcuffed in court and threatened with jail for failing to answer a judge's questions in the case.

Now, Brad's suing in federal court with the help of attorneys in Arizona and New York. A doctor certified that he's not incapacitated, court documents state. The guardian ad litem, Joseph Boyle, filed a motion in Maricopa County Superior Court to end the guardianship. But Superior Court Judge Robert Myers denied the motion.

Since the guardianship was ordered in February of 2010, Brad Lund "has been subjected to (Boyle's) review of his living expenses and (Boyle's) discretion as to whether certain expenses get paid," records state.

Boyle's also represented Brad in court and been paid with Brad's cash.

Brad Lund wants a federal judge to cut the cord from his guardian -- permanently.

Presumably, that's not going to make Michelle Lund happy, so we'll venture a guess that even if Brad's request is granted, this family fight will go on for a while longer.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.