Jonathan S. Willett, Attorney at Law
1331 17th St., Suite 608 Denver, CO 80202  Tel 303-832-5648
NEWSLETTER
Criminal Law March 6, 2015
 
Criminal Law
 

Warrant Required for Use of Thermal Imaging Devices to Detect Indoor Activities

The Fourth Amendment expressly protects "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, ...(more)

 

Restricting or Denying the Visiting Privileges of Prisoners with Their Children

According to the Child Welfare League of America, an estimated 200,000 children have a mother in prison, and at least ...(more)

 

Obtaining Relief for a Rule 11 Failing Based on the Plain Error Standard

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure (FRCP) 11, prosecutors may promise to move to dismiss other charges or recommend ...(more)

 

Understanding Foreign Drug Laws

United States citizens frequently believe they will not be subject to foreign laws for crimes committed abroad since they are U.S. citizens. ...(more)

 

Criminal Law in the News

Bill to Outlaw Posting Intimate Images without Consent Introduced in Utah House

New Law Would Block 'Affluenza' Criminal Defense Strategy

Criminal trial follows Black Friday fight

No prison time for convicted Ala. rapist, judge reaffirms

Appeal in Michael Skakel murder case could stretch into 2015

Homicide & Estate Planning


If a person murders a relative, is he/she entitled to receive any of the victim's property? In most cases, the answer would be "no." Usually, a convicted killer cannot inherit a victim's property, even if he/she is a rightful heir or a named beneficiary.

Required Characteristics
To lose all rights to the dead relative's property, the criminal court will need to find that a killer:

  • Intentionally and feloniously killed the person
  • Was legally sane at the time of the murder

Even if a person is not convicted of murder in criminal court, he/she may still lose rights to the dead person's property if the probate court finds that he/she is responsible for the person's death.

Forfeited Rights
Once the above are established, then the killer is treated as having "predeceased" the murdered person. This means that any rights the killer once had to the decedent's estate are passed to whomever is next in line to inherit or manage the estate (as if the killer never existed as an heir).

The killer will therefore lose all rights to his/her share of the following:

  • Separate, joint, or quasi-community property
  • Bond or life insurance benefits
  • Any nomination as executor, trustee, guardian, or conservator in the decedent's will or trust

Other Forfeiture
If the killer pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter (instead of being found guilty of murder), he/she may not be viewed as being innocent and may still lose all rights to the decedent's property.





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