Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Friday, June 5, 2020

Is It Too Late To Challenge The Will of Tiger King Star Carole Baskin’s Missing Husband?

ImageRecent reports state that a Florida sheriff confirmed that the will of Don Lewis, Carole Baskin's missing husband. You probably recognize Carole Baskin from the hit Netflix series Tiger King. WTSP.com reported that the the signature on Lewis' will appears to have been traced from his marriage record and that according to Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, "the problem was that the statute of limitations had expired for any crime related to the will." 

It seems that the sheriff was referring to any criminal prosecution regarding the will. However, it is not clear whether it is too late to contest the will.

It was also reported that the estate of Carole Baskin's husband was worth up to $10 million and was left to Carole Baskin, while leaving the rest of Lewis' family, even his children, out of the will. A case was opened in Hillsborough County, Florida and a copy of the will was filed, however it is unclear whether the will was actually admitted to probate or who, if anyone, received notice. One thing that is clear, an order was entered determining that Don Lewis was deceased in 2002. 

There are two questions to consider:

(1) Do Don Lewis' heirs have a claim for tortious interference with an expectancy of inheritance in Florida? and

(2) How long does fraud extend the statute of limitations? 

See Is It Too Late To Challenge The Will of Tiger King Star Carole Baskin’s Missing Husband?, Probate Stars, June 3, 2020. 


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