The idea of someone killing another for their money may make for a compelling movie plot. Like most in Los Angeles, however, you might dismiss the notion of this happening in the real world. Yet the enticement of money that could come from an estate may indeed prompt some to hope for a potential benefactor to hurry up and die (or even to help hasten the process). Here at The Law Office of Matthew C. Wu, clients have come to us with this very serious concern hoping there may be some civil recourse in the event a criminal investigation comes up empty.
If you share this same worry regarding your recently deceased loved one, you will be pleased to know that state law does have provisions in place that effectively disinherit one who is believed to have contributed to his or her benefactor’s death. Indeed, Section 259 of the California Probate Code shows that one party to an estate is viewed legally as having predeceased the decedent if any of the following occurs:
- He or she is proven to have physically or financially abused or neglected the decedent
- He or she is proven to have falsely imprisoned the decedent
- He or she is proven to have acted in bad faith towards the decedent
Like any concerned loved one, if you suspected any of the aforementioned actions were occurring, you would have likely reported this to local law enforcement authorities. Yet what if no charges ever came from such action? A criminal conviction is not necessary to invoke such regulations against a potential beneficiary. Rather, a judge simply needs to believe that such actions did occur through a preponderance of evidence.
You can learn more about protecting your loved one’s estate from abuse by continuing to explore our site.