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Cause of death may trigger disputes over wills and trusts

The mysterious and suspicious circumstances under which a man in another state died are at the heart of a family battle over the man's estate. The man's four daughters expected to inherit his $29 million estate after he was shot three times in his bed in Dec. 2013. Apparently, the man's grandson had been disputing the estate plan of the elderly man the night before the murder. While no charges have yet been filed, Michigan residents may be interested in how the case affects the wills and trusts in their own families.

With the four sisters set to claim their millions, the 23-year-old nephew took his mother -- one of the sisters -- on a fishing trip. In another mysterious twist, the boat sank and the mother's body was never recovered. The man was the next in line to inherit his mother's share of the fortune, including a $400,000 trust.

The man's aunts have gone to court seeking to have their nephew declared the killer of both their father and sister, effectively excluding him from any part of the inheritance. They also want the court to force the man to repay any of the money he already spent from the trust. While the investigations into the two deaths continue, circumstantial evidence against the man seems to mount, but still, police have filed no charges.

While murder and mystery are not common in Michigan estate disputes, contesting the wills and trusts of family members happens when siblings or others disagree with the contents. Since such procedures are often challenging and stressful, having the best advice and assistance makes a difference. An estate planning attorney will be knowledgeable in all aspects of planning and probate.

Source: middletownpress.com, "Suit seeks to have rescued boater Nathan Carman declared grandfather's killer", Michael Dwyer, July 31, 2017

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