Friday, July 31, 2015
A Florida appellate court has held that the States Slayer Statute is to be strictly construed. In Fiel v. Hoffman, the wife of the decedent was convicted of murdering both her husband and his mother. The wife had a daughter from a previous marriage and that daughter had two sons. The case centered on whether the decedent’s step-daughter and two step-grandsons were barred from inheriting under the States Slayer Statute. The Court held that the statutes clear and unambiguous language did not extend the prohibition to inheriting property to anyone other than the murderer of the decedent. The court’s ruling means that the decedent’s step-children would not be precluded from inheriting. The court also rejected the undue influence claims because there was no evidence that the step-children and step-grandchildren were involved.
See Anya Van Veen, Florida’s Slayer Statute and Undue Influence Statute Strictly Construed, Clark Skatoff PA, July 31, 2015.