Home / Case Stories / Fifth Wife Outclassed by Stepson
DISCLAIMER: Please note that every case is different and these verdicts and settlements, while accurate, do not represent what we may obtain for you in your case.
Dad inherited two beach front lots from his mother. With Son’s help he built and managed two rental complexes, one on each lot. Although Dad and Son maintained a good relationship, Dad subsequently married five different women during his life. As he became older, Dad wanted to make sure his Fifth Wife would be financially supported in the event of his demise. To that end he created a trust for the purpose of paying Fifth Wife’s living expenses (for the remainder of her life) and transferring the beach front lots to his Son, upon her passing. A couple years later, Dad suffered a stroke and became infirm. Fifth Wife then retained an out of county attorney to create a new trust (by mail) giving all of Dad’s assets to her outright, including the beach front properties. Dad’s care provider witnessed Fifth Wife coerce Dad into signing the new trust. On his death bed, Dad told Son to contest the new trust.
We filed a petition contesting the validity of the new trust based on lack of capacity, undue influence, coercion, duress and mistake. During the discovery phase, we found transfers from Dad’s separate and business bank accounts to Fifth Wife’s separate bank account. That discovery opened the door for a financial elder abuse claim, which we promptly filed. Son was an honorable man that loved his father dearly. Respecting his father’s wishes to cover his Fifth’s Wife’s living expenses, he backed off and permitted a settlement whereby the trust was terminated and he received one lot outright and Fifth Wife received the other.