Can You Discriminate in Your Will?

In New Jersey, the answer is yes. The Law Blog- WSJ  reports:

A New Jersey appeals court refused to set aside the will of a deceased father who disinherited his daughter allegedly because she dated and married a Jewish man.

Plaintiffs Stacy Wolin and her daughters argued that the will left by her father Kenneth Jameson of Haddonfield, N.J., was invalid because it was the “product of religious discrimination.”

According to the state appeals court opinion handed down Friday:

Stacy enrolled in college in 1982 and began dating Marc Wolin (Marc), a person of the Jewish faith. After telling her parents that she was dating Marc, Stacy’s parents allegedly forbade her from talking, socializing, and having any contact with him because he was Jewish…

Kenneth allegedly told Marc that “they would not attend the wedding because they would never endorse their daughter marrying a Jew.”

Mr. Jameson died in April 2014 at the age of 81, leaving his estate to a nonprofit serving people with developmental disabilities, according to the Associated Press.

The father’s “alleged discriminatory motive does not provide a basis to set aside the will,” stated the ruling, upholding a lower-court decision. Friday’s opinion cited a 19th-century judicial precedent that held that courts are bound to uphold the validity of a will even if it’s “contrary to the principles of justice and humanity” and its provisions are “shockingly unnatural and extremely unfair.”


Read more here.





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