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Woman "unduly influenced" by a lawyer who made his girlfriend the largest beneficiary of her estate
onlineathens.com ^ | 4-25-11 | Wayne Ford

Posted on 04/25/2011 5:51:15 AM PDT by rawhide

A terminally ill Elberton woman who set up a $1 million trust fund to care for her cats and dogs when she was gone was "unduly influenced" by a lawyer who made his girlfriend the largest beneficiary of her estate, according to a ruling in Athens-Clarke Probate Court that rejected the contested will.

Probate Judge Susan P. Tate in March overturned the will of 53-year-old Kay Elaine Johnston, who died of lung cancer in December 2007. Tate ruled that Elberton attorney Robert Johnson used the power of suggestion on the sick woman to unduly influence the will.

Johnston's cousin, Carol Phillips, asked the court to throw out the will, which left a $1 million trust fund to provide for the animals along with a home and seven acres of land to the lawyer's girlfriend, Kyria Wilhite. She was to be paid $50,000 a year plus additional fees for taking care of the 50 cats and six dogs that were alive at the time of Johnson's death, according to Tate's ruling.

Wilhite had helped Johnston with the animals for about two months before she died.

According to Tate's ruling, Johnson billed the deceased woman's estate for every visit made to her home, even charging to attend her funeral.

"If she said, 'I want a gallon of milk,' he'd go to the grocery store and charge his lawyer fee to get it, plus the milk. Everything he did, he charged for," Phillips said.

Robert Johnson failed to tell Kay Johnston about his relationship with Wilhite, who became the major beneficiary of the will, according to the court ruling.

Johnson, a lawyer for 38 years, said he charges $150 an hour.

"I wasn't just attending the funeral; I conducted the funeral, and I did a lot of other things," Johnson said.

(Excerpt) Read more at onlineathens.com ...


TOPICS: Conspiracy; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: cats; dogs; lawyer; will
Hmmm? Something not right here? $150/hr to pick up a gallon of milk?
1 posted on 04/25/2011 5:51:21 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: rawhide

Not sure the lawyer did anything wrong? But appararently the court has so ruled.


2 posted on 04/25/2011 5:55:11 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: rawhide
Johnson billed the deceased woman's estate for every visit made to her home, even charging to attend her funeral.
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers. "
3 posted on 04/25/2011 6:06:19 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: oh8eleven

My mothers attorney did that. He justified it by saying he brought ;papers for me to sign. I was outraged, because I was certainly not in the right frame of mind to make decisions or sign papers. He was a nightmare in other areas too. Her will was a mess, misspelled names and such.


4 posted on 04/25/2011 6:10:28 AM PDT by kalee (The offences we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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To: rawhide

hmmm... his rates were too low. You’re right. Something fishy.


5 posted on 04/25/2011 6:15:09 AM PDT by Mercat (Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.)
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To: rawhide

I almost never approve of contesting a will. However, if he introduced his girlfriend to the deceased and then wrote the will to give the girlfriend the money, that sounds like the right time to contest a will. In general, disinheriting relatives does not strike me as sufficient grounds, but this is different. As for charging to attend the funeral, that’s gross even by lawyer standards, which is saying a lot.


6 posted on 04/25/2011 6:23:22 AM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: rawhide
I don't see the problem. Just a lawyer acting like a lawyer.
7 posted on 04/25/2011 6:27:17 AM PDT by Tupelo (The Boudicca from Wasilla supporter)
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To: rawhide

Since primarily lawyers are making the laws then of course he did nothing wrong. Lawyers and democrats; there seems to be little difference anymore.


8 posted on 04/25/2011 6:35:03 AM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: Pollster1
You know, the woman may have indeed not wanted any of her money to go to her niece, as she had seen what type of person she was? Maybe the niece never showed any interest in her aunt or her pets. And the lawyer's girlfriend did.

The lawyer should have had a disinterested third party draw up the will so it would not have the appearances of impropriety.

9 posted on 04/25/2011 6:52:20 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: rawhide

That’s how you get rid of a lawyer. You tell them there’s a nickel in the casket, then, after they climb into the casket to get the nickel, you nail the lid shut, throw it in the hole and cover it with dirt. The worst part is, you put your ear to the ground over the grave, and you hear the lawyer singing, “I’ve got a nickel! I’ve got a nickel!”


10 posted on 04/25/2011 6:59:56 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: rawhide

I don’t know why the Judges said the will was not right because the lawyer unduly influenced the woman.

Most wills require a person to be of sound mind when it was made. This woman was obviously not of sound mind with 50 cats lying around eating and crapping and she leaves a million dollars to them.

Okay cat lovers let the flaming begin LMAO.


11 posted on 04/25/2011 7:20:48 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: rawhide

Not defending the lawyer here but where were these relatives while the woman was so sick that she needed someone to do her grocery shopping for her? If these cousins and such had been around to take care of a sick, ederly woman perhaps the lawyer would not have had such “undue influence.”


12 posted on 04/25/2011 7:31:27 AM PDT by RightOnTheBorder
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To: rawhide
You know, the woman may have indeed not wanted any of her money to go to her niece, as she had seen what type of person she was? Maybe the niece never showed any interest in her aunt or her pets. And the lawyer's girlfriend did.

Had the third party been a stranger to the lawyer, that would have been my position, and I would have been irritated at the niece for contesting the will. Having the lawyer's girlfriend involved creates an appearance of impropriety, one that seems likely to have substance behind it.

The lawyer should have had a disinterested third party draw up the will so it would not have the appearances of impropriety.

I agree completely. The fact that he didn't do so makes me wonder whether he had a reason for staying involved despite the obvious serious conflict of interest.

13 posted on 04/25/2011 8:14:37 AM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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