Leslie Sp02 Trusts & Estates ALL Briefs

Leslie Sp02 Trusts & Estates ALL Briefs - Elan Weinreb...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Elan Weinreb Trusts and Estates January 16, 2002 Ford v. Ford 512 A.2d 389 (Court of App. of Md.) Rule(s) of Law: One who kills another may inherit under the victim’s will only if the killing was not felonious and not intentional (although most jurisdictions have extended this rule to the recklessness of manslaughter as well (i.e., the killing must not be reckless [see Bird v. Plunkett, a Connecticut case referenced on pg. 24]). Thus, one who kills another while insane does not commit a felonious killing, for that person is not held criminally liable, and thus MAY inherit under the will of the person that he/she killed. Facts and Procedural History: Pearl Ford murdered her mother by hacking her into pieces and throwing her remains into a garbage can. She stood to inherit everything under the will. Her brother, George Benjamin Ford, Jr. only stood to inherit under his mother’s will if Pearl pre- deceased her mother. When Pearl tried to collect, George blocked her. George won at trial; Pearl appealed and won at the intermediate level. George then appealed to the court in this case, which held in Pearl’s favor. Issue(s): Where no slayer statute exists, what is the common law of Maryland regarding the inheritance potential of a beneficiary who kills a testator? Holding(s): The common law of Maryland (and many other jurisdictions) is that a beneficiary who feloniously and intentionally kills a testator is not a beneficiary insofar as the law is concerned and may not inherit or take property under the will of the testator/testatrix who has been killed. Rationale: A basic rule in equity teaches that one may not profit from his or her wrong, fraud, or crime. While some legislatures have passed laws allowing for one who kills a testator to inherit, this is not the case in Maryland, the state’s law following historically-held notions of justice, equity, and morality. Thus, it is the basic rule of Maryland that a murderer, or his heirs or representatives through him, ordinarily may not profit by taking any portion of the estate of the one murdered. However, Pearl was insane in this case and thus, there is a qualification here of the general rule to be reckoned with, simply put as follows: The slayer’s rule in Maryland is not applicable when the killer was not criminally responsible at the time he committed the homicide. The insane person is not to be punished and is therefore not criminally liable. Being not criminally liable, the killing of the insane person may be said to be intentional but NOT felonious. It is only where a killing is both intentional and felonious that the slayer’s rule may apply. Here, the killing was not felonious, and as a result, Pearl inherits. Dissent: If an insane killer has intentionally killed a victim—if such a killer has acted with the
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/14/2008 for the course LAW 7441 taught by Professor Cunningham during the Spring '06 term at Yeshiva.

Page1 / 57

Leslie Sp02 Trusts & Estates ALL Briefs - Elan Weinreb...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online