Court approves settlement in suit against stalker's estate

Estate planners use a variety of legal instruments, such as trusts and wills, to distribute an estate's assets. In the wake of a person's passing, there may be tasks related to estate administration that can involve dealing with claims against the estate. The cases are often more difficult to resolve, especially when more than one court is involved.

A court approved a settlement in one such case on Jan. 3. It involves a claim against the estate of an 81-year-old Florida man. Police records show that the man shot a woman five times on Jan. 17, 2011. The woman's 19-year-old daughter shielded her mother with her own body, causing the man to stop shooting. The daughter then called 911. Police responding to the call shot the man to death when he pointed his gun at officers.

The shooting left the mother paralyzed in one arm, and surgeons also had to remove part of her intestine. She and her daughter sued the man's estate for $2 million, and a judge in Pasco County recently approved a settlement of the suit. Terms of the agreement haven't been reported.

The case also involved the U.S. District Court in Helena, Montana, where the mother and daughter lived and filed their claim. This court ordered the two sides to discuss a settlement in 2011 because the claimed damages were greater than the value of the man's estate.

Administering an estate can be confusing and complex. Anyone facing such obligations should understand the nuances of law that may affect administration duties in Florida.

Source: KEYC-TV, "Settlement approved in fatal obsession lawsuit," Matt Volz, Associated Press, Jan. 3, 2013

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