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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Probate Case Law: Slayer Statute

Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals held slayer statute, Ariz. Rev. Stat. Sec. 14-2803, prevented wife who refused to testify as to circumstances of husband’s death claiming Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination from collecting proceeds of life insurance policies even though she was named beneficiary on one policy. The Court further ruled wife could also not recover her community interest in said policies under the slayer statute. Castro vs Ballesteros-Suarez, 1 CA-CV 08-0367, issued June 18, 2009.Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals held that lapsed gift of residuary trust assets would not go to Testator’s intestate heirs, but would, instead go to residual beneficiaries. In this case an art collection was to go to a charity. One of two married Testators soled the art collection prior to death. The dispute arose following the death of the second Testator. The Court reasoned it was the intent of the Testators to benefit the charity rather than their intestate heirs. Zilles vs. American Legion/Shriners, 1 CA-CV 07-0893, issued Dec. 23, 2008.

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