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The Coronavirus Shutdown May Spell Trouble For Vanessa Bryant As She Tries Settling Kobe's Estate

Gettyimages | FREDERIC J. BROWN
By Adreon Patterson

With Californians being told to stay home, Kobe Bryant's widow Vanessa is reportedly worried about the courts shutting down as she tries to sort out her legal affairs.

With rising concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak, "nonessential" services and businesses are being shut down as California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered residents to "stay home" due to health and safety concerns.

This shutdown and period of isolation have led to doubts about the court system remaining open, seemingly affecting a request by Bryant following her husband's death in a helicopter crash.

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Gettyimages | Kevork Djansezian

Reported by TMZ, Bryant is seeking help from the courts in order to get her affairs in order amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Recently, the widow filed legal documents asking a judge to appoint a guardian ad litem – a lawyer working in the best interests of a child – for her three daughters – Bianka, Natalia, and Capri as she needs to amend the late NBA legend's trust.

By with the proposed shutdown, Bryant is concerned that "court closures caused by the global pandemic" will slow down the process.

Gettyimages | Harry How

Court documents were obtained revealing that Bryant had created a trust to provide for Vanessa and his kids back in 2003. The trust was amended several times following the birth of their children, most recently in 2017.

But youngest daughter Capri was born before the NBA icon could amend the trust again before his untimely death.

According to TMZ, the trust agreement allows Vanessa, Natalia, and Bianka to draw from the principal and income in the trust during Vanessa's lifetime, with her daughters getting the remainder upon her death. The amended agreement would have to include nine-month-old Capri in that distribution.

Gettyimages | DutcherAerials

Currently, a hearing is set to take place next week to determine if the guardianship request will be approved. The expectation is that Vanessa will be able to amend the trust to include her daughter, but the coronavirus outbreak has thrown a wrench in that timeline.

If other court systems across the country are anything to go by, Bryant might have to wait a while. New Jersey closed all municipal courts and suspended all trials while judges in Cleveland are holding mass plea and bail hearings trying to combat the coronavirus behind bars.

The mother has concerns about California experiencing similar issues as she seeks a quick resolution.

Gettyimages | Gary Miller

The court system is not the only affected as health and safety concerns have to lead several events being canceled and businesses having to adapt.

Coachella and SXSW were canceled or postponed in early March while state and local governments have ordered all public-facing businesses like bars, gyms and movie theaters to close. Some restaurants have close while others still offer customers the ability to order food through delivery, takeout or drive-thru service.

Time will tell when or if Bryant can get her legal dealings sorted out.

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