The children: two sons, Michael and David, and a daugther, Shira: were told by executor William Moorhead, that Stern left far less than the $12 million they thought his assets were worth, and that the amount was not enough to cover the violinist's debts. Later they discovered that Moorhead paid himself more than $300,000 in fees out of the estate, and has transferred numerous assets, including a $3.5 million New York City apartment, to Linda Reynolds Stern, Stern's third wife.
Michael Stern is the founder and music director of the IRIS Chamber Orchestra in Memphis, and was recently named as the next music director of the Kansas City Symphony.
The children claim that Linda Reynolds Stern encouraged Moorhead to cut them out of the estate, denying them money, instruments, and family memorabilia. Their lawyer, Mark D. Schwartz, said in a court transcript that Moorhead was "manipulated by Ms. Stern and her greed."
In addition, the children believe that their father was ill and delirious when he transferred the apartment, which they claim he promised to them, to his wife's name. Shira Stern said in court transcripts that at that point in her father's life, "he would talk about an impending invasion of men from Mars."
Linda Reynolds Stern sold the apartment and put half the sales proceeds into the estate.
Moorhead said, in response to the Sterns' accusations, that he earned his fee, and that there is no evidence that the violinist was not of sound mind when he transferred the apartment to Linda Reynolds Stern.
Stern's children are still pressing for a full accounting of their father's estate.