Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Casiano Law Firm
Elder Lawyer, Estate Planner, Aggressive Litigator

“Because Life is Meant to be Enjoyed -
From One Generation to the Next.”

No-Charge Phone Consult
619-800-6820
Connect with us
  • LinkedIn

Estate Planning Newsletter

Homicide & Estate Planning

If a person murders a relative, is he/she entitled to receive any of the victim’s property? In most cases, the answer would be “no.” Usually, a convicted killer cannot inherit a victim’s property, even if he/she is a rightful heir or a named beneficiary.

Required Characteristics

To lose all rights to the dead relative’s property, the criminal court will need to find that a killer:

  • Intentionally and feloniously killed the person
  • Was legally sane at the time of the murder

Even if a person is not convicted of murder in criminal court, he/she may still lose rights to the dead person’s property if the probate court finds that he/she is responsible for the person’s death.

Forfeited Rights

Once the above are established, then the killer is treated as having “predeceased” the murdered person. This means that any rights the killer once had to the decedent’s estate are passed to whomever is next in line to inherit or manage the estate (as if the killer never existed as an heir).

The killer will therefore lose all rights to his/her share of the following:

  • Separate, joint, or quasi-community property
  • Bond or life insurance benefits
  • Any nomination as executor, trustee, guardian, or conservator in the decedent’s will or trust

Other Forfeiture

If the killer pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter (instead of being found guilty of murder), he/she may not be viewed as being innocent and may still lose all rights to the decedent’s property.

  • Revocable & Irrevocable Trusts
    Unlike a will or some other types of trusts, which take effect upon the death of their creator, a “living trust” or “inter vivos trust” comes into effect during its creator’s lifetime. The creator of a... Read more.
  • Special Needs Trusts and the Disabled
    Some government statistics estimate that between 15% and 20% of all Americans have some form of disability. It is also estimated that the majority of disabled persons will need to avail themselves of public assistance to help pay the... Read more.
  • The Inheritance Rights of Posthumously Conceived Children
    Several states refer to children who are born or adopted after the execution of a parent’s will and omitted from the provisions of the testamentary instrument as “omitted” or “pretermitted” children. In the... Read more.
  • Valuation of Securities for Estate Tax Purposes
    In 2001, Congress passed legislation incrementally increasing the amount exempt from federal estate taxes and completely eliminating estate taxes in the year 2010. However, the legislation contains a “sunset” provision... Read more.
Estate Planning News Links
Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Logo Next Client

© 2015 - 2020 Vincent M. Casiano, Esq. All rights reserved.
Custom WebShop™ law firm website design by NextClient.com

Contact Form Tab