Jay Leno Petitions for Conservatorship Amid Wife’s Dementia

Former late-night host Jay Leno in late January filed for a conservatorship of his wife Mavis Leno’s estate due to her dementia diagnosis, CBS News reported.

The petition, filed on January 26 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, said Mavis, 77, had been losing her cognitive capacity for “several years” and currently, her condition has rendered her “incapable of executing the estate plan.”

According to the filing, the couple’s finances have always been handled by Jay Leno throughout their 43-year marriage. The petition seeks to create a trust that would ensure that his wife had the “managed assets” needed to “provide for her care” if he died before her.

Under the estate plan, his wife’s brother, who is her only other living heir, would also be provided for. Jay and Mavis Leno have no children.

While it is uncertain when Mavis Leno was first diagnosed with dementia, a doctor’s report from November 28, 2023, that was submitted with the petition detailed her diagnosis and symptoms and concluded that, given her condition, Mavis Leno was not able to “meaningfully participate in the hearing on the Petition” nor could she understand the hearing if she were to attend.

The doctor’s report also noted that Mavis Leno lacked “the capacity to give informed consent to any form of medical treatment.”

In a filing submitted on March 28, a court-appointed lawyer recommended that Leno’s petition be approved, saying that Mavis Leno was often unable to recognize her husband or remember her date of birth.

The lawyer said Jay and Mavis Leno have had a “long-term, loving, and supportive relationship” and the petition was aimed at protecting them both.

A hearing on the petition was set for April 9.

A longtime board member for the national women’s rights organization Feminist Majority Foundation, Mavis Leno formerly chaired the group’s Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls, an initiative to restore the rights of women following the defeat of the Taliban.