last will and testament

Arkansas case highlights potential fraud attempts, when large amounts of money are involved in estate.

Large amounts of money involved in an estate can create incentives for people to attempt to present fraudulent wills, according to Arkansas Business in “Fake Will Scheme Puts Camden Real Estate Agent in Hot Water.”

Matthew Seth Jacobs, who was on an oil rig when the Deepwater Horizon disaster struck, received extensive injuries. Jacobs filed a lawsuit and reached a multimillion dollar settlement with the company.

Jacobs used some of that money to purchase a home with the help of Arkansas real estate agent Donna Herring. Herring may have had plans for the rest of money. She pushed her teenage stepdaughter on Jacobs and eventually the two became engaged. However, the extent of their actual relationship is unknown.

Jacobs was later driving to the home of a different girlfriend, when he was in an accident. He did not recover from his injuries. Herring then produced a will that left all of Jacobs’ assets to her stepdaughter, even though she never actually married Jacobs.

At first the scheme worked, but new evidence was later found that showed Herring may have fraudulently created the will. She now faces multiple charges.

This case illustrates the lengths that some people will go to when large sums of money are involved. It is particularly tragic in this case,  since the victim had previously been the victim of a horrific tragedy and the fraudster involved her teenage stepdaughter.

Reference: Arkansas Business (Jan. 30, 2017) “Fake Will Scheme Puts Camden Real Estate Agent in Hot Water.”

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Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.