Forgery Feed

Will forger gets jail time

Experienced probate litigation attorneys see it all -- family feuds, claims of theft and exploitation, elder abuse, siblings who hate each other, and parents who cheat their own children.  This is a first one for me -- someone forging a will and actually getting thrown in jail for it.  Edward Blomfield 

Edward Blomfield of Santa Barbara County, California, learned his girlfriend was murdered in January, 2006, as a former postal clerk went on a shooting spree, shooting and killing seven people, one of whom was Blomfield's girlfriend.  As if that wasn't enough tragedy for the girlfriend's family, Blomfield sought to profit from the tragedy by creating a "will" of his late girlfriend, leaving her entire estate valued at $750,000 to him.


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The Return of the Anna Nicole Smith Case

It's back!  Perhaps the most famous probate litigation case ever, Marshall v. Marshall (a/k/a Anna Nicole Smith versus the son of her late 90+year old husband) has been on hold for more than two years, but may be ready for its big comeback.ANS and JHM

In 2002, former Playboy Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole Smith won a judgment for a whopping $88 million against the son of her late husband for interfering with her inheritance rights.  More specifically, two different federal court judges in California ruled in her favor, finding that E. Pierce Marshall, son of the late oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, had fraudulently and improperly prevented Howard Marshall from making a substantial gift to Anna Nicole Smith.

In fact, the courts found "overwhelming" evidence that Pierce Marshall's willful, malicious and fraudulent behavior, which included forging documents and lying to his father, justified $44 million in damages, plus another $44 million in "punitive" damages because the behavior was so outrageous.

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Marlon Brando Will Contest

Probate lawyers are keeping busy with Marlon Brando's Estate.  Among numerous other cases, including a sexual harassment claim, battles over the use of his name for a chair, a former maid-turned-"major domo" who sued his Estate twice over promises he allegedly made, the most recent lawsuit was brought by his son's ex-wife.  Specifically, Deborah Brando (the ex-wife of Marlon's late son Christian Brando, who received the inheritance rights through a settlement with Christian based on a domestic violence allegation) keeps claiming that Marlon's signature to a will document was forged.

The circumstances surrounding it sure were fishy -- Marlon supposedly signed it less than two weeks before he died on July 1, 2004, after he had been suffering from dementia, diabetes, and a host of other ailments.  BrandoThese apparently including paranoia -- he is said to have wanted his room locked when he died so no one would steal the buttons off his shirt!  Despite these conditions, and the fact he never left his bedroom, his signature appeared on a codicil (lawyer-speak for amendment) to his will.

This codicil to Marlon Brando's will replaced his long-time will executors with two new ones.  Deborah Brando claims this codicil was a forgery and the new two estate administrators committed fraud to cover it up and prevent her from suing earlier.

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