A New York man pleaded guilty last month to mail fraud and some other heinous acts. According to Newsday, John Derounian, 53, forged a dead woman’s will, had her cremated, and transferred almost all of her assets, about $1.2 million, into his personal account.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District also noted that Derounian additionally pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography — he now faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.
Devonian claimed he found the body of his tenant, Marilyn Mosberg-Shapiro, 77, a lawyer and a retired judge, in November of 2015. He then forged her will, naming himself as the sole beneficiary to all of her assets, including her estate.
A Detailed Will Is Essential
In order to prevent similar unfortunate situations like this, as well as additional potential future issues for your family, having a detailed and thorough will is essential for every adult.
Far too many Americans believe they don’t need a will until they are well into their old age, but that’s simply not the case. Also, 29% of those without a current will said it was because they don’t have enough assets to leave behind to anyone. Again, not the case. Whether you have amassed a fortune or only have a few items and possessions to your name, you should still draft a will in order to distribute those assets, whatever they may be, to the rest of your family.
A Detailed Will Does More Than Distribute Real Estate
Your will actually does more than just distribute real estate. In fact, you can use your will to:
- Name an executor to wrap up your estate.
- Name guardians for your children and their property and assets.
- Create trusts for your children and other young beneficiaries.
- Forgive debts and more.
No one wants to think and have these conversations. They are difficult and uncomfortable. But they are essential. Talk to your family and talk to a qualified probate attorney about drafting a legitimate detailed will in order to protect your family’s future.
Do you know someone who died without a detailed will? Tell us more in the comments below.
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