Will Contest Involves Alleged Breach of Public Policy

The Superior Court of  New Jersey upheld a ruling of the lower court finding Stacy Wolin's lawsuit without merit.  Her suit alleged that her father had disinherited her in favor of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God Community Services, a organization that helps disabled children, because she married a man of the Jewish faith.

Stacy Wolin told the court that because her parents disowned her when she refused to stop dating a Jewish man, who was the man she eventually married and with whom she had three children, she was forced to pay for her college education by herself. She also had to spend her semester breaks at her boyfriend’s house because her father didn’t want her around.

She stated that her father (whose wife passed away prior to his death) once confronted the rabbi at the temple where her boyfriend’s family worshiped and accused him of brainwashing his daughter. Wolin also claimed that her father would not meet his grandchildren, who were reared according to Jewish tradition.

Wolin’s father, Kenneth Jameson, died in 2014 at the age of 81. In his will, which he signed in 1987, he explained that his daughter would inherit nothing for rejecting the “love, care and concern which I lavished” on her, acting “with selfishness, manipulation, cruelty and with abusiveness.”

The judges ruled that even though a will’s provisions may be “shockingly unnatural and unfair,” the court is bound and required to uphold its validity if it was written by an individual “of sufficient age to be competent and … of sound and unconstrained mind.”  The court also ruled that the state’s Law Against Discrimination did not make it unlawful to disinherit a child based upon an alleged discriminatory motive founded upon religion or religious affiliation. The judges also held that Jameson “provide[d] an explanation for his disinheritance,” wholly unrelated to her allegations.

Reference: The Algemeiner (August 14, 2016) “New Jersey Woman Fails to Contest Father’s Will Over Alleged Bias Against Jewish Spouse”

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