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Grandma Murders, Grandkids Inherit Millions (Pt. 2)

Fontainebleau-Miami-Beach Ben Novack was the son of the builder of Miami’s Fountainebleu Hotel.  Both he and his 86 year old mother were murdered at the behest of his wife of 18 years, a former stripper, within 3 weeks of each other in 2009 to collect his $10 million estate.  His wife was convicted of his murder in 2012 and is now serving life in prison.  

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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.

 

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All Posts By Jay Brinker

I am an attorney located in Cincinnati, Ohio who practices in the areas of estate planning, probate, asset protection, and small business advice. I make a difficult and bewildering process as simple as possible. Most importantly, I provide "more for less" for my clients.