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You Don't Necessarily Leave Your Lover By Dying

couurt.pngEarlier this month, a New Jersey Appeals Court agreed with the decision of a
lower court judge who awarded $444,000 to the paramour of her deceased
former lover. The trial took 24 days.
In 1995, the girlfriend, a Ms. Soskina, contributed $20,000 toward the purchase
of a Florida condo, with the promise from her lover, Mr. Turyan, that she would
get back her contribution, plus 20% of the net profit, when it was sold. Of course,
he was not there to disagree with that claim.
His Estate claimed that an undocumented $29,000 uncashed check was a
"settlement" of those claims. The trial court found that it was ridiculous that the
dead man, an astute businessman, would not document an important thing like
that. The Appeals Court agreed.
On his deathbed, in the presence of multiple witnesses with his words put into
writing, Turyan instructed a business associate who owed him money to pay
Soskina $300,000. Instead, the business associate paid $359,000 to Turvan's
family. The trial court said that $300,000 of that was supposed to go to Ms.
Soskina. It also "found incredible the claim that the money represented a new
business investment, for which there was no documentation."
In addition to $394,000, the lower court also awarded $50,000 in legal fees to
Soskina. The Appeals Court said that it would never overturn such an award,
except where there is a "clear abuse of discretion" by the trial judge.
Lesson? If you've got a girlfriend or boyfriend on the side, better put your
intentions in writing, one way or the other. You never know when it's "time to go"
and you could be leaving a big and expensive headache for your family. Evan
Xavier Bakhet is a J.D. Candidate at Rutgers School of Law-Newark with a
scheduled graduation date in 2017. He collaborated with me on this blog. 

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