On January 14, 2014, Paul Romano of Romano & Sumner prevailed in a hard-fought two-day will contest trial in the 20th District Court of Milam County located in Cameron, Texas. The matter was concerning the Estate of Carl Wayne Grothe, deceased.

Mr. Romano represented the Contestants of a purported 2008 Will which had been submitted for probate by Mr. Grothe’s widow. The Contestants were the son and daughter of the Decedent from a prior marriage.

The Contestants alleged that the purported 2008 Will was fraudulent in that the signature was not that of their deceased father. In support of their allegations, the Contestants showed that the three witnesses who signed the will all recalled the will having been signed in a different location, that the three witnesses were biased in favor of the surviving spouse, and that the signature on the purported 2008 will did not match known specimen signatures of the Decedent found on checks signed by him during the same time period.

The Contestants also alleged that prior to their separation, the widow of the Decedent had committed fraud against her husband by transferring and withdrawing hundreds of thousands of dollars out of community property accounts for the benefit of herself, her children and her lover. During trial, the Contestants presented copies of hundreds of checks written by the Decedent’s wife to herself and others as well as diaries and journals written by the Decedent in which he recounted the hurt and anger he had felt upon discovering how he had been deceived by his spouse.

After two and one-half hours of deliberation, the jury of twelve delivered a verdict on behalf of the Contestants. The purported 2008 Will was denied probate and the Estate of Carl Wayne Grothe received a judgment against Ms. Grothe for approximately $130,000 for the fraud she had committed against the community property estate of the Decedent.

If you believe that you have been wrongfully excluded from a loved one’s will, the will contest attorneys at Romano & Sumner are ready to represent you.  To speak to an attorney about contesting a will, contact our office today.