Gordon R. McKenzie



In 1945, $9,000.00 would be a fair sized estate; big enough to capture the attention of an "evil genius" and big enough to bring a case to trial and then on to the court of appeal.

Joseph Carron kept most of his money in a safety deposit box at a Windsor bank. Shortly after he died at 39 from health problems related to his alcoholism, his bootlegger, Cloe Lucier, scooped his personal belongings from his rooming house and claimed the money stored at the bank.

She produced a stationer's will signed by Carron a few days before his death and witnessed by Lucier's son and daughter. The will made Lucier executrix and beneficiary except for $5.00 left to each of Carron's three sisters.

The sisters successfully challenged the will. The court of appeal ruled that it would not uphold a will where there was a well grounded suspicion that it did not truly express the wishes of its maker, unless the suspicion could be disproved (Lucier v. Lynch, 1947).

Lucier could not disprove the suspicion. Her liquor law convictions, her relentless efforts to bring Carron back to the booze when he tried to sober up, and certain errors in the will that Carron could not have made led the court to conclude that the will was part of a concerted effort by Lucier and her daughter to get their hands on Carron's money.

If your will is unusual, be careful how its made. It could be overturned in suspicious circumstances.

This article is presented as general information only and is not to be relied on as legal advice. You should contact your lawyer to see how the law applies to your circumstances before any action is taken.

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