A well known estate planning issue in 2020 was the will that gave Carole Baskin of the popular documentary Tiger King millions of dollars after her husband went missing and was never found. 

Police in Tampa, Florida have now confirmed that the will that gave Baskin her missing husband’s estate is absolutely a forgery

New evidence shows that Florida woman attempted to steal her husband’s estate

The sheriff assigned to the case had two different experts confirm that the will was forged. 

Don Lewis suddenly disappeared from the Tampa area in 1997 and was never heard from again. Because it was assumed that he was deceased, his wife was given his entire estate under suspicious circumstances. The documentary Tiger King interviewed several people who speculated that Don Lewis had been murdered, and Baskin was involved in a plan to cash in on his estate illegally. There were even comments made that Lewis may have been fed to tigers on Baskin’s large preserve and big cat rescue operation, because this would have been an easy way for her to destroy the evidence. 

Carole Baskin was never charged in any way for the disappearance or murder of Lewis, and up to this point she had never been prosecuted for any kind of forgery or fraud related to the will. Baskin also had an ongoing feud with the protagonist of the documentary, Joe Exotic, who was convinced that Baskin killed her husband and took his property illegally. Other family members of Don Lewis have expressed their concerns as well. They were totally left out of the will that was executed, and they also believe that Baskin may have been involved in some kind of criminal activity or fraud to get all of Lewis’ estate. 

Why is a sound estate plan important?

Securing an estate with proper legal help is a very serious issue, as this news story shows. It is possible that a forged will or other problems can destroy the intent of a deceased person. For these reasons, it is imperative to have an experienced lawyer review any will,estate plan, power of attorney documents, or any other instrument that could distribute property or grant legal authority to do so to another. Many other estate planning documents are actually more secure and likely to carry out the testator’s intent than a simple will

Getting the right estate planning assistance help will ensure that your property will go where it needs to during life or after death if necessary. It is possible to create a trust that can move property to other individuals or charities immediately or gradually over the course of years. To find out which kind of plan may work best for you, get legal help.  

Learn about how you can protect your property interests

To speak with a lawyer about any estate planning issues before problems arise, get help from:

The Estate, Trust, and Elder Law Firm

850 NW Federal Highway, #1004, Stuart, FL 34994



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