… and why you should not kill your family member during the Quarantine.

Photo by Denis Agati on Unsplash

So, you are cooped up with your spouse and your kids and you are having homicidal fantasies as your nap is interrupted for the 5th time today.  You are thinking if you took the offender out that you would be free of the annoyance and get the inheritance money…. You are wrong!

Ohio has what is commonly referred to as the Slayer’s Rule that will prohibit you from inheriting if you killed the person who would leave you said inheritance.  The rule is established in Ohio Revised Code Section 2105.19 and the jist is (in case you do not want to read dry code sections written in archaic language by attorneys) that if you are convicted, plead guilty to or found guilty by reason of insanity or of complicity of aggravated murder, murder or involuntary manslaughter you are prohibited from benefiting in any way from that act.  Yikes!!!… put the knife down!!!

So, you try to get around this by claiming an interest in a joint and survivorship account which would normally go to the surviving holder of the account.  You cannot get the money. You are determined by law to have predeceased the victim and you will get nothing. Foiled again…. put the gun down!!!

If you manage to not be charged criminally for the alleged murderous act you are still potentially out of luck.  Say for instance you are the beneficiary of the life insurance policy of the dearly departed but you have not been charged or convicted of the crime, a civil action can be made to establish the identity of the killer.  If you are found to be the killer in the civil action you will again see no ‘Benjamins” … put down the poison!

If the justifiably dismissed from this world had a life insurance policy through his/her employer and you as the alleged murderer are the beneficiary and there were no named contingent beneficiaries the insurance company does not have to pay out the death benefit to anyone.  So, make a deal with the contingent beneficiary – you will need it to pay your legal fees. For the love of Pete… just don’t do it!!

Now suppose the worst and your teenager decides that patricide is the way to go… ungrateful urchin! Can they inherit as the result of them sending you to the hereafter… Nope! A juvenile who is convicted of crime that if tried as an adult would constitute aggravated murder they are not allowed access to your goodies.  Whew!

Now that you know the risks… take a walk, a solitary drive or anything but killing your family for being annoying.  This has been a Public Service Announcement from the Moseman Law Office.  

Excerpted from Ohio Lawyer Volume 34, No.1.