Australian Man Who Murdered His Father Seeks Larger Portion of Inheritance
I have blogged about Florida’s slayer statute that addresses the rights of a beneficiary when they take the life of a testator or decedent. The cases are sometime striking when you see the rights that a person who murders someone still has in the probate court. A recent case out of Western Australia concerns a son who killed his father, then upon the death of his mother is demanding a lion’s share of the inheritance.
- Paul Holden Ellis, of Western Australia (recently some of the best probate stories have come out of Western Australia like the case I blogged about last week where a mandisinherited his sons for smoking) bashed his father to death with a baseball bat and was aquitted by reason of insanity back in 2001.
- Ellis and his two brothers were left more than $200,000 each after their mother Victoria died in 2010.
- One of Ellis’ brothers, Clive was named executor (Personal Representative in Florida) and had been paid an addition $60,000 for “fees and expenses.”
- In Florida, a Personal Representative is paid for their time, fees and expenses out of the estate, but the beneficiaries of the estate have a right to an audit or accounting of these fees.
- Paul demanded the records from Clive whor efused, and now it has gotten all the way to the Supreme Court of Western Australia who ordered Clive’s attorney to hand over the records.
- The Courts as well as the other brother (remember there are 3) have all said these issues actually largely stem from the tragic events that resulted in the father’s untimely and violent death.
What does this mean for the person involved in probate in Palm Beach Florida? alot actually.
- Family bad blood can boil over into petty disputes, here a mere accounting was refused probably because of the tragic events a decade earlier. This actually went all the way to the Australian Supreme Court and not to say 200,000 dollars is not alot of money but its certainly not the perogative of the Supreme Court of Australia to deal with 60,000 dollar accountings.
- If you have been named a Personal Representative, Executor, Adminstrator etc. of a will keep good records or be prepared to forego reimbursement.
- Courts do not look to prior bad acts in many instances when looking to what rights anheir has , so if you have a sordid past that does not mean that you do not have rights in a Florida Probate Court.