Will and trust litigation in the news

12 June 2011

Unholy matrimony?

“Twilight marriages,” “predatory unions” or whatever colorful term used, late lafe marriages by persons suffering dementia are under inreasing scrutiny.  It can be a form of inheritance theft in my view, depending on the particular circumstances. The Wall Street Journal has a nice article on the phenomenon: It is difficult enough to entrust an elderly parent’s care to someone you hire. But what do you do when that worker secretly marries their charge—and claims a chunk of your inheritance? Although no one tracks the numbers of such marriages, lawyers who handle estate-related litigation say they are seeing increasing numbers of […]
23 April 2011

Update on San Antonio estate battle

According to the San Antonio Express News, a partial settlement has been reached in the battle over Leo Block’s estate.  The settlement resolves the dispute between Mr. Block’s children and has widow, along with claims involving various charities. Interestingly, a battle still looms between the widow and the attorney who the children had accused of helping her obtain most of the estate.  As is not unusual in contested estates, passions have become inflamed: When Boyd deposed Block last month, the fireworks went off repeatedly as she called him a thief and a liar. “You are the most unethical, you are the […]
5 February 2011

San Antonio estate battle

According to the San Antonio Express News, a battle is raging over the estate of San Antonio businessman and philanthropist Leo Block.  Litigation is not surprising given the following: 1) Mr. Block was rich 2) He married only about a year before his death, allegedly without informing his closest family 3) The alleged involvement of a twice disciplined lawyer; and 4) The wife allegedly taking a $37,500 monthly “salary” and unsecured loans in excess of $217,000 from Mr. Block. Given the above allegations, it isn’t surprising there is a will contest and allegations of elder exploitation and abuse. I’m frankly […]
6 December 2010

“Material misrepresentation” as the basis for rescinding life insurance coverage

The Los Angeles Times recently published an article regarding the increasing practice of life insurance companies to cite misrepresentations in applications as a basis to cancel or “rescind” coverage after the insured dies. According to the Times, the amount of money life insurers withheld from beneficiaries more than doubled over the last decade, to $372 million in 2009: “Insurers can dispute claims for a number of legitimate reasons — unpaid premiums, suicide, foul play by the beneficiary. But the No. 1 reason, accounting for about two thirds of disputes last year, is “material misrepresentation.” That’s failing to disclose information that […]