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Queens Woman Leaves Inheritance to Doomsday Profit

CNN recently reported that a Queens woman left nearly all of her life savings to Family Radio and its owner Harold Camping, shunning her family in the process.

Trust and Estate Lawyers have seen many times where a loved one dies and family members are left frustrated and angry because the loved one has left their money to an outside business or organization. In some cases, outside influences on an elderly person can be an avenue for estate fraud and contested wills in New York City. Whether trying to set up a trust and estate or seeking a court challenge after a will has been produced, our firm has decades of experience in these areas of law.
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The Queens woman left nearly her entire estate — about $300,000 — to the group that failed to predict that Jesus would return to Earth on May 21. According to Camping, the radio station’s founder, the event would be marked by a massive earthquake, where believers would be sent to heaven and non-believers would be left to toil on the land for five months until the complete end of the world. But, as most have noted, his prediction didn’t come true. He now has said his calculations were off and Oct. 21 is the new correct judgment day.

His group of followers spent months buying billboard advertisements worldwide, driving around the United States in RVs and buses warning people of the judgment day and telling of the endtimes on his radio station.

The woman’s relatives are upset not because their aunt left them $25,000 each compared to the money sent to the non-profit group, but that had she been alive to witness the failed prediction, she might not have given all her money to the group. The California-based organization is almost entirely funded by donations and brought in $18 million in contributions in 2009, alone, CNN reported.

The woman, who died in May 2010, would listen to the radio station all day, her relatives said, and it comforted her listening to the promises of heaven. But the relatives, who called Camping “crazy” are just upset that he has gotten so much money while other family members are struggling to get by.

Contesting a will in New York is a complex process and many factors must be taken into consideration before making such a move. The best advice is to consult with a trust and estate lawyer who can advice you on the best course of action.

For a will to be contested successfully, you must have proper legal standing and a genuine belief that there was something wrong in the documentation or the preparation of the will, such as:

While you need legal standing to contest a will, you also need a reason to do so. That means you must have the genuine belief that something was seriously wrong in the way the will was executed. Reasons to contest a will include might include such factors as your belief that:

  • A mistake was made in writing the will
  • The testator – the person whose will is in dispute – was coerced or unduly influenced by someone else
  • Fraud has taken place
  • The testator wasn’t mentally capable of making decisions and conducting business when they executed the will

If any of these factors are present, you may have a case to contest a will. If you are in that position, call our firm today so we can help.

The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman handles estate law and contested wills in New York City, Long Island, Great Neck and throughout the area. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.

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