The Aaron Hernandez case has not been the easiest estate case to follow. Hernandez, who was a former NFL player, committed suicide in 2015 after being convicted of killing one person and acquitted of killing two others.
His only daughter was his heir, but his estate had very little liquidity with his home the only significant asset with a value of $1.3 million. The families of the three people Hernandez was accused of killing, filed suit against his estate for the value of the home.
Hernandez filed for a homestead exemption in Massachusetts in 2013, allowing him to protect up to $500,000 of the value of his home from judgments and creditors. The personal representative of the estate waived this exemption. However, that does not end the matter, as the Boston Globe reports in "Another lawsuit emerges in the Aaron Hernandez legal saga."
The mother of Hernandez's daughter has recently filed a lawsuit seeking a judgment that the homestead exemption filed by Hernandez still applies to his daughter and that the estate cannot waive it for her. Doing that is the only way the mother has any chance of securing some sort of inheritance for the daughter.
The court found the lawsuit at least plausible enough to temporarily order that $500,000 from the sale of the home be held in escrow, pending the results of the case.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your estate plans or when probating an estate or administering a trust, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage a Cincinnati estate planning attorney.
For more information about estate planning, probate or trust administration in Cincinnati (and throughout the rest of Southwest Ohio) and to review free resources regarding estate planning, probate or trust administration, visit my website. If you have questions regarding this article or a particular legal matter, feel free to contact me at 513-399-PLAN (7526).
Reference: Boston Globe (Feb. 24, 2018) "Another lawsuit emerges in the Aaron Hernandez legal saga."