TMZ.com reported tonight that David Beresford-Redman has petitioned the probate court to open the probate case and validate the will of his murdered daughter-in-law.
The probate petitioner his son Bruce Beresford-Redman is now charged with the murder of Monica -- is named in Monica's 2008 will as an executor of her estate also known as the personal representative of her probate estate.
Monica's sisters have said they will challenge the validity of the will.
Under the will, David and his wife Juanita would inherit Monica's interest in a house she owns. The remaining property goes to Bruce.
As previously reported by Probate Attorney Blog.com in Florida if a person is merely proved to have more likely than not intentionally and unlawfully brought about the death of another they are unable to inherit anything from the estate. However in California where the will contest is going to occur and the probate case was filed in the LA Superior Court Probate Division the standard is higher and requires a felony so there likely needs to be a conviction although it appears that the sisters are going to seek to contest the provisions going to the father as well or his being personal representative. As far as personal representative the position may be to argue whether he could be fair and impartial as the son is the primary beneficiary currently but that will be challenged but the provisions to him should pass to him unless either he was involved with the murder in some way which seems highly unlikely or there is another legal claim. She had mental capacity though and undue influence is not often made for a case of a woman of her age. While the evidence has appeared to show that the son likely did murder her and he will not receive his share if that is proven to be the case while the writer of this blog is a Florida Probate Attorney and not licensed to practice law in California most slayer statutes do not bar relatives of the slayer who are named in the document and had nothing to do with the wrongful act from inheriting so it will be interesting to see what the legal arguments are in this case. The father had told the children that their mom died in a car crash when they got them as temporary guardians instead of telling them the truth than barred them from going to the funeral and there is likely to also be continuing guardianship litigation regarding who gets the children and what is in their best interests given how their mom passed.
See June 4 2010 TMZ Murder Suspects Dad Opens Probate Case