John Goodman is the 48-year old multimillionaire from Palm Beach, Florida who recently made headlines when it was publicly revealed that he adopted his 42-year old girlfriend to help protect the family fortune.
Goodman did this in the midst of criminal and civil legal proceedings pending against him. They arose from the February, 2010 drunk driving incident during which Goodman reportedly ran a stop sign, killed a 23-year old man, and fled the scene. When it was recently revealed that Goodman, in October of last year, had legally adopted his girlfriend, people across the country were outraged.
Goodman’s lawyer issued a statement defending the adoption. He states that the adoption was done to protect Goodman’s children, not to shield assets from the family of the slain driver who is suing him.
While Goodman has been bashed across the country for his legal maneuver, it actually makes sense from a probate law perspective. Years ago, Goodman placed $1.5 million into an irrevocable trust for his two children. By investing that money into stock of the Goodman Manufacturing Co., which grew extraordinarily well under Goodman’s management, the $1.5 million trust fund blossomed to several hundred million dollars.