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Sacramento Estate Planning Attorney

Murder victim's alleged lover challenges his estate

Last month the estate proceedings in the case of a murdered Silicon Valley mogul took another interesting twist, when the man's lover filed a petition seeking half of his estate. The Silicon Valley man was killed during a vicious home invasion last November, during which money and valuables were stolen and his wife was brutally beaten.

The woman brought the estate claim last month, claiming she met the man while working as a prostitute and that he had fathered her two daughters, who are now 7-years-old and 9-years-old. The man's other surviving family members, including two older daughters, claim he owes no financial duty to the former prostitute or their children.

However, under California law, people may be required to provide support to their surviving heirs, so if the woman can provide proof that the man fathered the two girls, her claim may in fact entitle her to a portion of the man's wealth. According to the woman, the deceased was a father figure, even taking the girls to Disneyland on a family vacation.

Will challenges like this one can be excellent fodder for tabloid news, but at the heart of the issue is really the well-being of the children he allegedly fathered and the responsibility he would have under the law to make sure they are financially secure until the time they reach the age of majority.

The woman claims that this is what the man would have wanted, but the man's other surviving daughters claim that he was broke at the time of his murder and living largely off of money given to him by an ex-wife. This case should provide some interesting legal questions.

Source: Fresno Bee, "Former dancer seeks support from Kumra estate," April 27, 2013

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My Sacramento law practice, Michael A. Sawamura, Attorney at Law, focuses on wills, trusts and estate planning law in addition to business law and corporate defense services. My clients include professionals, government employees, small businesses, blue-collar workers and national corporations.

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