Berman & Asbel, LLP

Police officer's friendship under scrutiny, chiefs back his inheritance

When it comes to the distributions made in wills, trusts and through other tools during estate administration, there are often people who are left unsatisfied with the result. In some cases it is a child who though his or her gift was unfair in comparison. In others it is surprise as to what is or more often what is not included in the estate. In some, it is simply the circumstances in which the estate was designed prior to the death.

For a 94-year-old's estate administration, it was the naming of a police officer as a co-executor and primary beneficiary of her estate. His inheritance included a bond, stocks, a Cadillac and a piece of waterfront property. The problem for some was that the two first met while he was on duty, did not know one another for an extensive period of time and the age of the woman at the time that she abruptly changed her estate plan.

The elderly woman's will was contested after her death, during the administration of her estate. However, this was not when her plans first became known. In fact, she had been interviewed prior to her death about the friendship. She told reporters that she had met the officer when he responded to her home and helped remove "members of the nation's gang" from her property.

After the successful removal of the unsavory characters, the woman befriended the officer. It was confirmed by the department that after the initial meeting, the friendship was conducted while the officer was not on duty. When asked in the interview if he would be in the will, the woman adamantly responded with a "You bet he is." She also reminded the interviewer that "It's my money and my house and I'll do as I (expletive) please."

That was the background story, but if you check in to our blog next week we will discuss the two claims being made in the will contest.

Source: Sea Coast Online, "Chiefs defend officer named in woman's will," Elizabeth Dinan, March 3, 2013

Our Philadelphia law firm handles issues and disputes that arise during probate and estate administration. Visit our website to learn more.

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