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Which side would you choose: $1.6 million hangs in the balance

A $1.6 million inheritance, an isolated elderly man and two feuding parties. It may sound like the plot of a new movie, but the real life scenario is far from entertaining.

A recent news story reported that a 92-year-old man who lived like a hermit left behind $1.6 million to his financial advisor when he passed away in 2016. And now the man’s family is fighting this decision — but who has the right to the inheritance?

The financial advisor believes she should receive the money

Over a ten year span, the two became trusted friends. The client lived in isolation and was not close to his family – he went to see his advisor at his office many times and considered her his best friend. She took note of the disrepair and hoarding in his home and set up home health care services to help.

Over this long span of time, the financial advisor was granted power of attorney for health issues of the deceased man. She is listed as the executor and sole beneficiary of the entire estate and was also left lump sums of cash via annuity at least twice.

The advisor argues that she asked not to be left any money. However, the will says the entirety of his estate is for her. When the gentleman passed away, the financial advisor even arranged his funeral and did not notify his extended family.

Family is family they should inherit

Nieces and nephews of the deceased man are contesting the will. Their uncle died from advanced dementia so they believe his decisions could not be sound. There is also speculation that the financial advisor illegally pressured their uncle into his will, power of attorney and personal choices.

The family thinks the deceased gentleman was an easy target living in isolation with severe mental illness. He forgot names quickly and had no close living relatives. Their attempts to contact him over the years were difficult and often not successful. They believe the financial advisor took the time to earn their uncle's trust and lay a successful trap for him. The family claims that their uncle did not know who the financial advisor was when she brought him his mail in 2014.

Who do you feel is right?

Currently, the $1.6 million inheritance is frozen and the case is going to court. In the meantime, the financial advisor has claimed she is turning in her professional license and retiring. The family continues to fight for their claim to the money. The whole story may make you wonder:

  • Why didn’t the family ever check on their uncle before he passed away?
  • Was the financial advisor genuinely acting out of friendship?
  • Does the family only care now due to the significant amount of inheritance?
  • Did the financial advisor purposefully take advantage of an elderly and vulnerable man?

We will see how this case unfolds. No matter which side has the right to inherit, this case is a clear example of the convoluted evidence and emotional claims that can affect cases regarding inheritance. Families often find themselves in the midst of conflict when a large estate is at issue, especially when an advisor’s actions or another family member has clouded the matter with their influence.

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