Yet another outrageous probate story

By December 6, 2010Uncategorized

It seems that every few months or so, an outrageous probate story pops up in local news from somewhere around the country.  For whatever reason, it is possible for probate to bring out the worst in people.  And, while AZ probate law is no exception, as can be seen in the host of recent negative news stories on Arizona probate law, this post actually retells a story out of Massachusetts.  Let’s preface this story, however, by saying that it doesn’t have any particular significance to AZ probate law.  Rather, it is just one more outrageous story to add to the annals of probate law.

The story begins in 1986, when Dr. Rose Jannini passed away, leaving a sizeable estate.  More than a million dollars of this estate was never claimed, and thus held in trust by the state treasurer’s office.  That is, of course, until Kevin Upshaw appeared at the county probate court with a will that apparently entitled him to the unclaimed assets.  As you have probably guessed, Mr. Upshaw is now facing allegations that the will was a fraud, and that he misrepresented himself so that he could wrongly inherit the remainder of the estate.

At the time of the story’s publication, Mr. Upshaw was being held on $5,000 bail, after being indicted on forgery and attempted larceny.  And, what is the moral of the story?  That those who attempt to manipulate the system may face serious consequences.  This is indeed an extreme example, and more often than not, people run afoul AZ probate law not because they are manipulating the law, but because they are not fully informed of what the law is.  To protect against this type of scenario, it is always a good idea for those navigating a probate matter to seek the advice of an Arizona probate lawyer.