Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, July 22, 2013

Annulment & Wills Fraud

From the Courthouse News Service:

    A man who married in secret by checking his allegedly incapacitated bride out of a nursing home may not be entitled to her estate, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled.
     Nancy Ellen Laubenheimer died at Virginia Highlands Health and Rehabilitation Center in February 2009 while her stepdaughter, Patricia Mudlaff, was petitioning for permanent guardianship.
     Though Laubenheimer had never adopted Mudlaff or her two siblings, she had been married to their father for 30 years before his death in 2001. Laubenheimer's will in 1999 said the bulk of her estate should go to those three children if her husband predeceased her.
     Joseph McLeod moved in with Laubenheimer some time later. Laubenheimer's failing health included a series of strokes, diabetes, renal failure and hypertension. Six months before Laubenheimer was judged by doctors as incapacitated and admitted to a nursing home in October 2008, a nurse had told the sheriff's department that a man named "Clark McLeod" was not letting Laubenheimer get the care she required.
     Laubenheimer had been in the nursing home just two or three weeks when McLeod removed her twice to obtain a marriage license and then get married at the courthouse.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

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For more on this important topic, see my law review article below on the topic, including a proposed solution that was adopted by the Florida legislature 2 years ago.

Posted by: Professor Terry L. Turnipseed | Jul 22, 2013 10:37:53 AM

A lot of valuable information shared here.

Posted by: Tulsa Divorce Lawyer Matt Ingham | Aug 12, 2013 5:38:52 AM

This is an interesting set of facts in this particular case. Here in Tulsa County, Ok I can honestly say that I have never come across a similar set of facts in any of my family law cases.

Posted by: Tulsa Divorce Lawyer Matt Ingham | Aug 14, 2013 1:55:52 PM

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