The former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was convicted of murdering three people and was in jail pending an appeal, when he was discovered dead of an apparent suicide.
That puts an end to the criminal cases against him, but he was also facing civil suits from the families of his victims.
Those families are pledging to continue their fight against his estate, according to the Daily Mail in "Fight for Aaron's millions: The families of Hernandez's victims go to war over his estate (if there's anything left) as Odin Lloyd's mom says the NFL star's suicide was 'another form of justice'."
It is not known how much money Hernandez had left at the time of his death. Therefore, there might not be anything for the families to get. However, an old Massachusetts' legal principle gives them some hope, but also makes their case more difficult.
According to the legal principle, if someone dies while their appeal of a criminal conviction is pending, the conviction is vacated. This is good for the families, because if the conviction is vacated, then the Patriots may owe Hernandez's estate $3.5 million from a contract signing bonus.
However, it also makes winning their case more difficult. This is because they would not be able to rely on the fact of the conviction in making their case.
Hernandez passed away with his heirs presumed to be his daughter and possibly his girlfriend.
It is not known if he had an estate plan or if there will be anything left for his heirs to inherit.
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: Daily Mail (April 19, 2017) "Fight for Aaron's millions: The families of Hernandez's victims go to war over his estate (if there's anything left) as Odin Lloyd's mom says the NFL star's suicide was 'another form of justice'."