From Eliot Bernstein–Amazing–Federal Court to Hear Inheritance Dispute

Federal Court Permitted to Hear Inheritance Dispute

Written by Jeffrey Skatoff • August 1st, 2016

Probate Litigation,  Commercial Litigation,  Federal Inheritance Litigation,

A Federal court is permitted to hear an inheritance dispute, so long as the case does not run afoul of the probate exception, the Younger Abstention Doctrine, and the Colorado River Abstention Doctrine.

In Life Insurance Company of North America v. Wagner, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50902 (D. Utah 2016), the Federal district court allowed an interpleader to proceed regarding life insurance death benefits.  The underlying dispute was between the surviving husband of the deceased, Mr. Truman, and the mother of the deceased, Ms. Wagner.  Truman was the named beneficiary on the policy. Truman was found guilty of murdering the deceased, which would disqualify him from receiving death benefits pursuant to Utah’s slayer statute.  Wagner claimed the death benefits should instead be…

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