In light of Halloween….. we bring your attention to the “Slayer Statute”, Section 732.802, Florida Statutes, which provides that any individual who “unlawfully and intentionally kills or participates in procuring the death of the decedent is not entitled to any benefits under the will or under the Florida Probate Code, and the estate of the decedent passes as if the killer had predeceased the decedent.”

The “Slayer Statute” also precludes a joint account owner, a designated account beneficiary or a designated life insurance beneficiary from inheriting a decedent’s account or share of the account if they unlawfully or intentionally kill the decedent.

While a “conviction of murder in any degree is conclusive” for the “Slayer Statute” to take effect, the court may still determine by a greater weight of the evidence (a much lower standard of proof) that the killing was unlawful and intentional and thus apply the “Slayer Statute”.

Recently in Stephenson v. Prudential Insurance Company, the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, found that the individual “more likely than not” wrongfully caused the death of the decedent, and the “Slayer Statute” prevented the individual from inheriting from the decedent, despite not being prosecuted for the death.

Take Away: The Children of the Corn, would not have inherited from their parents!

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Oakstone Law
1415 Panther Lane, Suite 439
Naples, Florida 34109
Tel: 239.206.3454