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Florida woman wants property of murdered husband

The distribution of assets to an estate's heirs is the primary purpose of estate administration. Estate planning should also include asset protection, which involves preventing these assets from being used in ways the estate's owner did not intend. Readers in Orlando will be interested in an estate dispute involving a murder conviction.

A 56-year-old Florida woman who has been convicted in the beating death of her husband is claiming half of their marital property. A federal judge has previously ruled that her conviction forfeited any claim she has to these assets.

The woman has asked for a court hearing to reverse this ruling, saying that the marital assets include a home in Florida and other assets that were acquired during the marriage. The couple was married from about Feb. 1, 1994, until the husband's death sometime before July 12, 2009.

The woman and her 59-year-old brother were convicted in 2012 of hiring hit men to kill her husband and his mother, according to court records. Her husband was found beaten to death in the Hilton Rye Town hotel. His mother was also killed with a monkey wrench in April 2009. Florida law currently prevents individuals from benefiting from their crimes.

The size of the estate can affect the best form of probate for that estate. The available options in Florida include summary administration, formal administration and the disposition of personal property without administration. Along any of these paths, it is best to be fully aware of your options to ensure that your end-of-life wishes are in compliance with current law as it pertains to estate administration.

Source: CBS New York, "Narcy Novack Still Wants Murdered Husband's Property, Including Batmobile," Feb. 7, 2013

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