Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Grandma Murders, Grandkids Inherit Millions

In 2009, a Florida woman hired a hit man to kill her wealthy husband.  Because Florida's Slayer Statute prohibits murderers from benefiting from their misdeeds, the wife was removed as a beneficiary of her husband's will.  The contingent beneficiaries were her daughter from a previous marriage and a trust for the benefit of the daughter's now adult sons.  The husband's relatives are still contesting the validity of the will which has previously been upheld.  Their theory is that the wife unduly influenced the husband into leaving his estate to her, and then the daughter and her sons, by threatening to expose his "amputee porn fetish."

From my vantage point 1,000 miles north, I do not see how a will which leaves all of the estate to a wife, or to her children if she pre-deceases him, reflects undue influence.  The spouse is typically the beneficiary of  the other's will.  If a spouse were to engage in coercion, I think the other spouse would next consult a divorce attorney not an estate planner.  It looks like the relatives are desperately trying to negotiate a settlement of a smaller amount.

Also from my Midwestern, suburban, and apparently sheltered vantage point, I was unaware that people could have an amputee porn fetish.