Judge Seals Documents Related to Britney Spears' Future Estate Plans

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - In the first hearing since a Los Angeles Superior Court judge formally ended the conservatorship that controlled Britney Spears' life for nearly 14 years, the same judge today sealed documents related to her estate planning.

The decision by Judge Brenda Penny -- who found on Nov. 12 that the conservatorship was ``no longer required'' -- decided that the 40-year-old singer's privacy rights outweighed the right of the public and even the entertainer's father, Jamie Spears, to see the documents.

Accountant John Zabel filed the petition involving the estate planning information on Spears' behalf. Zabel will continue as the temporary conservator of Spears' estate, primarily to wrap up financial issues, including creating a safety net to make sure some of the singer's assets are placed in a trust.

Jamie Spears' attorney, Alex Weingarten -- while not objecting to the sealing of the petition -- said he may move later for full access to the estate planning petition, which will be considered for final approval by the judge on Jan. 19. Weingarten said he received only a redacted copy of the petition.

A lawyer for Tri-Star Sports & Entertainment Group, the singer's former managers, said he also may seek to view the documents on behalf of his client.

The singer's attorney, Mathew Rosengart, told the judge that Tri-Star may have ``dissipated assets'' from Spears' estate.

Outside the courtroom after the hearing, Rosengart, who called the singer a ``free and independent woman, said he will continue to push for Jamie Spears to be deposed and questioned about actions during his time as conservator of his daughter's business affairs prior to his suspension earlier this year and the eventual end of the conservatorship.

Rosengart said Jamie Spears has failed to appear twice for his deposition and that he will file a motion to force him to attend a session if necessary.

Jamie Spears can be asked a wide range of questions, including inquiries into his communications with his lawyers, Rosengart said.

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