Billionaire’s will contested; ‘undue influence’ alleges daughter
Florida is the home of a large population of the retired and elderly. Then it is no surprise that many people meet the end of their life in Florida since many non-residents earlier in life flock to the state at some point in their later years. One Florida resident who happened to be a billionaire and the owner of a large publishing company passed away with a full will outlining his wishes for his estate. His daughter, who received no money or family heirlooms, is contesting the will.
She, in an outlined lawsuit, is contesting that her father and the will suffered from undue influence. Specifically, she believes her father was coerced to sign over a large valuation of assets and to give her and her brother less assets. The lawsuit contests that the undue influence occurred over a period of time when her father was ill and unable to make cognitive decisions. She also alleges that the undue influence was forced upon her father by two men who became under greater control of his assets and property.
The lawsuit also claims that the illness caused the deceased to lose contact with reality due to the medication and his frail medical condition. It claims that he was not in his right mind at the time that large decisions concerning his estate were handled. One document in particular is peculiar as it is signed with the billionaire’s initials – not his full signature as in all other legal documents with his signature. This seems to almost a ‘smoking gun’ as to proving undue influence in probate litigation.
Only time and evidence presented by either side will prove or disprove the daughter’s claim about her father’s estate. Once in awhile, people in a position of power will take advantage of that power. Sometimes this occurs during the drafting of a will. This lawsuit will continue to play out across the Florida media.
Source: postgazette.com, “Scaife’s daughter seeks to invalidate billionaire’s will,” Rich Lord July 19, 2015