A surrogate court judge stopped an alleged Brooklyn con-man, William Frazier, from inheriting the estate of Marcel Carter, a woman who suffered from dementia and died at the age of 94. The judge found that Frazier conned his way into Carter’s life, and acting as her caretaker, had Carter sign a will that basically gave him all of her possessions.
According to the New York Daily News, a judge found William Frazier to be a con-man specializing in taking over the personal and financial lives of fragile elderly woman. Along with Marcel Carter, Frazier is alleged to have been involved in administering the estates of four other older women.
The Daily News reports that when Frazier first met Carter, he pretended to be a church teacher. Earning her trust with his church position, Frazier became Carter's caretaker, moved in with her, and transferred her money into a joint account. "What had once been hers alone progressively over time became his," wrote the judge in her decision.
By the time Carter's died in 2008, Frazier had essentially cut her off from the outside world and had drafted her will. In the will, Frazier basically made himself the recipient of Carter's entire estate which included a Clinton Hill co-op and $15,000.
Generally, courts are reluctant to interpret wills as these are usually believed to represent the last wishes of the deceased. However, in rare circumstances, courts will get involved especially if there is possible undue influence.
Undue influence often exists when a person in a position of trust, such as a caretaker, manipulates that position for a personal gain. When a will is contested for undue influence, a judge may bar the execution of the will.
With Marcel Carter's will, the judge found such undue influence by her caretaker, William Frazier, and so the judge barred the execution of her will.
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