Sunday, January 30, 2011

'Gloves are Off' in Estate Battle

When San Antonio businessman and philanthropist Leo Block, 94, died at home Aug. 31, 2009, he left behind a new wife, at least $15 million in assets and troubling questions about the last chapter of his life.

Among the uncertainties were why the confirmed bachelor had married suddenly late in life without telling his family and why he — or others — had quickly begun making radical changes in his will, estate plan and investments.

Also unclear was how he met Erma Holman, 71, a local bail bond company owner whom he married in July 2008, and Stephen Boyd, a lawyer who twice was disciplined for ethical lapses in the late 1990s.

Some answers are emerging in bitter litigation in Bexar County Probate Court No. 1, where in November 2009 Block family members filed suit, accusing Erma Holman Block, Boyd and others of fleecing a muddled old man.

“Sadly, by the time of his death, Leo Block had truly become the ‘poster child' for elder abuse and exploitation,” reads the lawsuit filed by Block's sister Betty Simmons and her two children, who until 2008 had stood to inherit almost all of Block's wealth.

Their suit seeks to overturn Leo Block's final will, created just months after his wedding, which gave the bulk of his assets to Erma Block and three charities.

It claims that soon after the marriage, Boyd and Erma Block began to “strip” Leo Block of his wealth while isolating him from his family.

Full Article and Source:
'Gloves are Off' in Estate Battle


Anonymous said...

We know the theme.

I think the jury can do their job in three minutes flat!

Dave said...

This is going to be a mess.

Pete said...

If there is anything good in here, it's that Leo Block isn't around to see this.

Katie said...

i realize there's a lot of money at stake and if it were me, i'd probably be right there in the fight, but it's so sad to think that the end result here will only benefit the lawyers and the emotional damage to the family will never heal.

Linda said...

We don't know, maybe she made him happy. It's human to look at these things and think she was a gold digger, etc. and she took advantage of him, but we weren't there and we just don't know.

tvfields said...

This is just one more case which demonstrates the need for the proposed legal reforms with which readers of this blog should now be familiar. Did Leo Block know about these proposed measures? Most likely not. Why not? Because who would have communicated them to him? For that matter, who's going to communicate them to all the other Leo Blocks out there?

Anonymous said...

It appears Leo Block may have just been lonely...

John said...

Did Mr. Block change his Will or transfer assets under the influence of the date-rape drug scopolamine?

That drug is apparently being used against older people with dementia in San Antonio.

Get hair and nail samples and have them tested by Dr. Pascal Kintz in France or Dr. Nick Lemos in San Francisco.