Woman Disinherits Nephews, Wills $100K to the Cat
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catAn appeals court recently affirmed that Charlotte F. Stafford was not under undue influence when she disinherited her nephews and left $100,000 in a pet trust for the care of Kissie Meouw Stafford, her cat. Stafford appointed her friend and caretaker of six years, Vicky House, as the cat's guardian, and stipulated that House could continue to live in her residence rent-free until the trust terminates, which is either at the time of the cat's death or 21 years after Stafford's death. Stafford's nephews, who were written out of her will, claimed that House had "undue influence" over Stafford, petitioned the will, lost, and appealed.   The Appellant Division cited common law precedent and concluded the influence asserted must rise to the level of “a moral coercion” and “[m]ere speculation and conclusory allegations, without specificity as to precisely where and when the influence was actually exerted, are insufficient to raise an issue of fact.” The judgment stands, and Kissie Meouw Stafford has become the proverbial "fat cat" with a $100,000 bank account. Source: HMYLAW
Posted under: Estate Litigation

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