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Blinn v. Carlman
Florida District Court of Appeal
159 So. 3d 390 (2015)
Starting in 2005, Richard Blinn, decedent, suffered from progressive dementia and paranoia. Richard’s daughter, Patty Carlman, assisted him with his financial affairs. Richard’s original will, drafted in 2006, left his entire estate to Patty. In 2007, at age 82, Richard married Demetra Blinn, his fourth wife, after which Demetra took over managing Richard’s financial affairs and took active steps to isolate Richard from his family and poison his relationship with Patty. There was a recording submitted into evidence of Demetra shouting at Richard and aggressively manipulating him into believing that Patty was stealing from him. In April 2008, Richard executed a new will under suspicious circumstances that left his entire estate to Demetra. The drafting lawyer testified most of his conversations were with Demetra and that he was uncomfortable with the circumstances surrounding the preparation and execution of the 2008 will. Shortly after, Demetra requested that a July 2007 doctor’s letter stating Richard was of sound mind be appended to the 2008 will. In June 2011, Richard was declared legally incompetent, and the court appointed Patty as his guardian, finding Richard suffered from failed mental capacity, which left him vulnerable to undue influence. When Richard was later hospitalized with severe dementia, Demetra asked the 2008 will’s drafting attorney to prepare a durable power of attorney in her favor stating she would have the document executed. Following Richard’s death, the trial court invalidated the 2008 will based on undue influence. Demetra appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gross, J.)
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