Jay Leno has filed to be conservator of his wife’s estate, citing her diminished capacity due to dementia.
Court documents reviewed by HuffPost state that his wife, Mavis Leno, has been “progressively losing capacity and orientation to space and time for several years” and is not capable of executing her own estate. The two have been married for 43 years.
The retired late-night host is asking courts to issue a substituted judgment to allow him to approve his wife’s estate planning and execute a testamentary plan, which is a type of trust created after the grantor’s death.
A substituted judgment is often used when a patient lacks decision-making capacity and has no advance directive.
The court documents state that Jay Leno is petitioning the courts “to ensure” his wife’s “desires concerning the disposition of her assets upon her death are realized.”
Jay Leno and Mavis Leno attend the 2010 Vanity Fair Oscars. The comedian has filed to be conservator of his wife's estate, citing her dementia diagnosis.
Doctors cited in the court documents say Mavis’ diagnosis supported Jay’s request for a substituted judgment, stating that the 77-year-old’s diagnosis causes issues with “memory, comprehension/processing, delusional ideation,” therefore Mavis Leno would not be able to “meaningfully participate” in a decision to appoint a conservator for her estate.
The documents also say Jay Leno has “handled the couple’s finances throughout the term of their forty-three-year marriage, and will continue to do so until his passing.”
The filings assert that Jay Leno believes his wife consents to the conservatorship and that there is no one else she would prefer to be appointed as conservator of her estate. The Lenos do not have any children.
Jay Leno married Mavis Nicholson in 1980, four years after meeting at one of his standup shows at Los Angeles’ iconic Comedy Store.
“It was in January — I don’t remember the day. But at the time, I thought, ‘Holy shit! That comedian is gorgeous!’” she told the Los Angeles Times in 2014.
In 2019, Jay Leno shared his marriage philosophy with People magazine.
“I always tell guys when they meet a woman, ‘Marry your conscience. Marry someone who’s the person you wish you could be and it works out okay,’” he said.