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Breaking Down Why Jay Leno Filed for Conservatorship Over Wife Mavis Leno

By Michael Jan 28, 2024

Jay Leno filed for a conservatorship over wife Mavis Leno for the sole purpose of estate planning.

Us Weekly confirmed that Jay, 73, filed court paperwork on Friday, January 26, regarding the future of Mavis’ estate. In the documents obtained by Us, Mavis’ regular physician performed an examination and said that she struggles with “memory, comprehension/processing, delusional ideation.” Mavis, 77, currently takes medication for dementia, depression and anxiety.

“The proposed Conservatee, Mavis Elizabeth Leno, suffers from dementia, a major neurocognitive disorder,” the doctor wrote in the docs. “It is my professional opinion that, due to her condition, Mavis is unable to meaningfully participate in the hearing on the Petition to Appoint a Probate Conservator nor would she understand the nature, force or effect of the hearing should she attend.”

The doctor added, “It is my further opinion that if Mavis were ordered to attend the hearing, such mandated attendance would cause her undue stress, confusion, and anguish and therefore her presence at the hearing would be detrimental to her mental and physical health.”

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Due to Mavis’ dementia diagnosis, Jay wants to create a trust to hold “each of his and Mavis’s one-half interest in their community property.” The account would make sure that there are sufficient funds to provide for Mavis’ future care and for her family members after the couple’s eventual deaths. (Mavis has one living relative, brother Rikki Nicholson, who lives next door to the Lenos.)

Jay Leno Filed for Conservatorship of Wife Mavis to Prepare for Future After Her Dementia Diagnosis
Mavis Nicholson and Jay Leno Michael Buckner/Getty Images

A later section in the filing said that Mavis does not object to Jay’s request to be appointed as the probate conservator of her estate.

“Petitioner Jay Leno has always handled the couple’s finances throughout the term of their forty-three-year marriage, and will continue to do so until his passing,” the court documents noted. “The conservatorship estate will not be funded with any assets and is being established for the sole purpose of filing a petition for substituted judgment to ensure Mavis’s estate plan is established and that Mavis’s future care is provided for under the terms of a living trust.”

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According to Jay, Mavis never handled her financial resources during their marriage and the TV icon plans to continue supporting his wife’s physical and financial needs. Jay is requesting to set up an estate plan, including a revocable trust and will, to provide for both Mavis and her brother.

Jay and Mavis met in 1976 and they tied the knot four years later in 1980. They’ve been married for four decades and, in recent years, Mavis has been “progressively losing capacity and orientation to space and time.”

The filing further revealed that Mavis’ current condition renders her incapable of executing an estate plan at present. Jay’s sole purpose in his motion is to make sure that Mavis’ desires “concerning the disposition of her assets upon her death are realized.”

A hearing is scheduled on April 9 with Mavis not attending since she is unlikely to understand the situation.

By Michael

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