The Deeper the Estrangement the More Likely the Will Contest

SquabblesWhat’s to dispute? "He was still practicing medicine, running his business, knew who his children were…" Somehow, his daughter, who he had not seen in twenty years, was sure he had 'overlooked' her in his will.

The $3 million estate of the late Dr. Oscar Reichert was recently settled in Texas. At the close of a court hearing, Denise Reichert was named the sole beneficiary. She took the oath of independent executrix of the will and estate of her ex-husband. The judge who presided over the hearing dismissed the contest of will filed by Brandi Reichert, who is the doctor's oldest daughter from his first marriage. However, Brandi failed to show up in court. The story is reported in a recent article in The (Mount Pleasant TX) Daily Tribune, "Court decides Reichert estate goes to ex-wife."

The judge's order said that Brandi failed to comply with a court order to undergo genetic testing. As a result she lacked standing to challenge the probating of the doctor's will. The judge ruled "that every effort has been made to secure the presence of Brandi Reichert. Her failure to be at this hearing is a failure to comply with the court's orders, and failure to comply with DNA testing is failure to appear."

Brandi argued that her father didn't know what he was doing when he signed his last will naming Denise as sole beneficiary in his will. He could have been under undue influence, Brandi said, and didn't know his next of kin or children, nor did he understand that Denise was his ex-wife. However, it also was revealed in her earlier testimony that she hadn't seen her father in 20 years.

According to testimony, the divorce was granted March 22, 2013, but the divorce was filed about 10:35 A.M on June 24, 2013. Interestingly, the doctor's latest will was signed the afternoon of June 24, 2013 and named Denise as the sole beneficiary, referring to her as his wife.

In the hearing, Denise Reichert testified that at the time the will was drafted, signed and filed, she was not aware of it but found out about it six months later; however, she believed the decedent had proper capacity to know what he was doing.

Reference: The (Mount Pleasant TX) Daily Tribune (December 8, 2015) "Court decides Reichert estate goes to ex-wife"




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