Archive for the ‘Will in question’ Category

Police helped wealthy woman accuse local lawyer of theft

March 1, 2013
PORTSMOUTH — While an elderly woman endorsed a new will and trust last May, leaving the bulk of her sizeable estate to a city police officer, she accused her former lawyer of stealing from her.
The woman, Geraldine Webber, died Dec. 11, 2012, at age 94, seven months after she was videotaped for an hour and 20 minutes signing a new trust giving police Sgt. Aaron Goodwin her waterfront home, stocks, a bond and a Cadillac. The will and trust are being contested by Portsmouth attorney Jim Ritzo, who says he managed Webber’s estate for the previous 25 years, that her wishes remained consistent and they did not include Goodwin.
Ritzo alleges in the county probate court that Goodwin exerted undue influence over Webber and that she was incompetent when she agreed to give the police sergeant power of attorney over her estate, as well authority to make her life-and-death medical decisions. Evidence in the case is expected to include the video of Webber signing her new estate documents on May 2, 2012, when she called Goodwin her “second son,” made sexual advances toward her new lawyer, Gary Holmes, and alleged her old lawyer, Ritzo, stole checks and money from her.
Ritzo denied the allegations Monday, saying he’s “never taken a dime” from Webber, including for the quarter-century he managed her estate.
“It’s a classic sign of Alzheimer’s (disease) to say people are stealing from you,” said Ritzo, who had petitioned the probate court to have Webber evaluated for competency prior to her death. “I think it’s very simple, just let the judge watch the video and decide.”

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Police helped wealthy woman accuse local lawyer of theft