Half sisters fight over father’s estate, amid fraud allegations

Even if a will exists, there is the possibility that someone could come forward during the probate process and contest the distribution of an estate in Lee County, and elsewhere. Combined with allegations of an elderly or incapacitated person being taken advantage of, fraud or any other number of schemes, these situations can become even more complicated.

That is the case with the probate issues that are affecting the settlement of one man’s estate. According to reports, shortly before the man died, he purchased a home and moved in with the mother of his youngest daughter. She purportedly cared for the man as he was suffering from lung cancer. Just three days before his death, they were reportedly wed in an emergency ceremony.

It was during this time that the man’s eldest daughter, who has a different mother than her half sister, purportedly believes that her sister, along with her mother and aunt, took advantage of her ailing father’s incapacitation in order to get their hands on his assets. According to reports, she has filed a lawsuit against her half sister, whose mother is now also deceased, for control over their late father’s estate. Her lawsuit reportedly includes allegations that her sister attempted to have her father’s will changed, without his signing off, to cut her out, as well as that the marriage was not done legally and was just a ploy by her sister’s mother to gain access to her father’s finances.

It will largely be up to a probate court judge to determine what the man’s final wishes actually were, and how to carry them out. Like the man’s oldest daughter has in this case, if you feel that someone has interfered with the execution of your loved one’s final wishes, you too might consider taking legal action.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Family feud over Swissvale estate gets ugly in court,” Jonathan D. Silver, Dec. 1, 2013

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