Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, April 17, 2009

Will contest in Georgia pits family against mistress

Strother_Harvey

An interesting will contest is brewing in Georgia.  Here are some of the facts as reported in Bill Rankin, New fight over will of millionaire, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 14, 2009:

      • Harvey Strother was a successful car dealer in Georgia.
      • Harvey's mistress for eight years was Anne Melican.
      • Harvey was reported to have alcohol challenges,  For example, it is claimed he would drink 1.5 gallons of wine per day.
      • Harvey died of congestive heart failure in 2004 at age 78.
      • Harvey's estate was worth $37 million.
      • He left a will and three codicils.  The third codicil was denied probate because the court found he was drunk when he signed it.  The first two codicils were admitted to probate.
      • The admitted codicils give Anne $4.5 million, lifetime health coverage, a condo in Cozumel, and a monthly allowance of $7,900.
      • The family members claim that (1) Anne exerted undue influence over Harvey and (2) the codicils are invalid because the witnesses did not see Harvey sign them.  [Note that in many states, there is no requirement that the witnesses see the testator sign.]

Special thanks to Neil E. Hendershot (Tucker Arensberg, P.C., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), who also authors the PA Elder, Estate & Fiduciary Law Blog, for bringing this article to my attention.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2009/04/will-contest-in-georgia-pits-family-against-mistress-1.html

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