More revelations continue to pour forth from the Geraldine Webber elder abuse investigation/probate case in Portsmouth, NH. Webber, who died in December of 2012 at age 94, left behind a $2.7 million estate to Portsmouth Police Sgt. Aaron Goodwin, who "befriended" the elderly woman two years prior during a routine patrol of her neighborhood. The trouble is, Webber had already been diagnosed with dementia by their time of her acquaintance with Goodwin. Yet Goodwin proceeded to visit her intensively, even taking her on casino outings, as well "shopping around" through several lawyers to change her will and trust with himself as the new beneficiary in May 2012. Seven months later Webber passed away, and Goodwin inherited her fortune.
What happens when a party in an estate dispute attempts to transfer assets from a trust they once established for family members? That's the current dilemma of New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, whose $1.9 billion business empire is up for grabs after he froze his daughter, Renee Benson, as well as his grandchildren out of ownership of major enterprises after his death.
When attorneys pursue an estate or trust case on behalf of their client, one of the key factors in the litigation process is discovery, whereby documents and other evidence are subject to exposure for their possible use in court. All kinds of records are useful - estate, medical, financial, and those of law enforcement.
What happens when, upon a parent's death, the trust you've been counting on comes up empty, leaving you zilch? Such is the situation in which the children of Pennsylvania billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife have found themselves. Jennie and David Scaife are now set for a court battle to find out where that money went and whether they can successfully challenge the remainder of their father's vast estate for the purposes of recovery.
When tabloid magazines proclaim that the stars are "just like us," they have a point. After all, when they die some celebrities leave behind estate disputes - often nastier and on a larger scale. Famed Hollywood actor Tony Curtis is a case in point. Curtis, who died at age 85 in 2010, was a screen legend who lived the Hollywood life, a circumstance that added up to six marriages and five children. His last wife and widow, Jill Vandenberg Curtis, was 42 years his junior (they married in 1998 when she was 31 and he was 73).