Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Vulovic v. Robinson (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 28, 2006)

I'm somewhat (and increasingly) hesitant to call someone a bit sleazy, especially on a cold appellate record. But I nonetheless think I'll continue to call 'em as I see 'em.

So when I read this case, which involved the validity of a bequest in which 87-year-old Helen L. Odian left her entire $3 million-plus estate to Catharina Vulovic, who had been her paid live-in companion before Ms. Odian moved into a nursing home, my reaction was this: I'm glad that Ms. Vulovic won't take care of my relatives.

Not because every bequest to a caretaker is the result of overreaching, though I'm in favor of somewhat broad prophylactic rules in this regard (for example, California's). But, on the facts of this case, I'm fairly convinced that Ms. Vulovic was fairly sleazy. So was very glad to see Justice McKinster -- rightly -- affirm the holding of the trial court that Ms. Vulovic won't become an instant multimillionaire.

P.S. - Justice McKinster doesn't mention it except in passing, but I also don't have a very fond opinion of many of the salespeople who sold Ms. Odian (through Vulovic) what I'm certain was overpriced and inappropriate junk. Particularly the person who convinced the incompetent, elderly Ms. Odian to convert her substantial assets in order to purchase an annuity. Yeah, like that's an appropriate investment for Ms. Odian, and not one that you pushed on her simply in order to obtain a huge commission. Sleazeball.