Feb 2012 VLF Litigates Against Stepmother for Children to share in Dad’s Estate

In a case the
resembles a Grimms Brothers Fairy Tale, The Vethan Law Firm successfully represented
the four children of Dr. Alvin Wendt, a successful veterinarian/businessman, in
a will contest concerning their father’s will against their former stepmother
and estranged brother
Our Clients
alleged that their father’s third wife unduly influenced their father, after he
suffered a stroke, for her own benefit from 2004 until his death on Dec. 14,
2010. In fact, even after the third wife divorced Dr. Wendt, VLF’s clients
alleged she still had operational control of his business holdings.
Soon after Dr.
Wendt’s death, a document was presented to the probate court purporting to be
Dr. Wendt’s last will and testament. Surprisingly, the document named the third
wife (ex-wife) and her children by another marriage as beneficiaries, but
excluded Dr. Wendt’s four children (our clients). Our client’s learned that
their estranged half-brother & step mother had petitions the probate court
to control their later father’s estate. Additionally, soon after the will was
filed in probate court, she filed a claim as the beneficiary of his life
insurance policy, seeking to recover over $1 million in life insurance
proceeds. The Long and short of it was that Dr. Wendt’s biological children
were being cut out of their father’s extensive estate. VLF attorneys were able
to stop her from taking the insurance proceeds, and obtained a court order to
deposit the insurance proceeds with the court, preserving funds, pending
resolution of the dispute
Upon a close
examination of the will, VLF’s attorneys discovered several inconsistencies
with the signature, initials on the will and the document itself. VLF
Aggressively litigated the case, used a handwriting expert to substantiate our
suspicions about the will, and cross examined the attorney who prepared the
will. VLF also obtained evidence to show that Dr. Wendt has previously suffered
a stroke which affected his cognitive skills.
After three
days of trial regarding the decedent’s mental capacity and the authenticity of
the will itself, the case settled, and VLF’s clients were, at last, able to
share in their father’s estate. 


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(713) 526-2222