SPEAK WITH A TEAM MEMBER (770) 920-6030

Download the Georgia Probate Handbook.

Learn Important Probate Essentials, including key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.

    logos-image logos-image logos-image

    If we were ever going to make a movie or prestige TV/Netfix series about Probate Court, it’d have to be called Undue Influence. Catchy title, also the term ‘undue influence’ covers so many scenarios we’d probably get a bunch of seasons out of it as an anthology series like American Horror Story. Which, come to think of it, also describes this story, the poster child of undue influence cases.

    Rita Casoni came to the United States from Parma, Italy as a young child in 1952. Her family moved to the North End of Boston where they became fast friends with the Moretti family, particularly the three siblings, all in their forties. The Morettis owned an apartment building in the North End – it should be noted here that the North End of Boston in the 50’s and 60’s was very much like the old Prince Spaghetti commercial: a commercial filmed in Rita’s neighborhood.

     

    Rita and her husband moved into the Moretti’s building in 1977. Her, her husband, their children and even their young grandchildren were regular visitors with the Morettis. Rita was a licensed social worker at the North End Community Health Center, just down the street. The families, in other words, were very close.

    Two of the Moretti siblings died in the late ’80’s, Rita comforted the survivor, Lawrence, took care of all the funeral arrangements, was, by all accounts, a huge help.

    Very shortly after, Lawrence, in his late seventies, began to have health problems. Rita pitched in to help. Lawrence was lucky, while he had no remaining family, he had a close group of friends around him, all people he had known for decades. Beside Rita and her extended family, he had Teresa Antonelli who had lived in his building for ages and dropped in all the time. He had a close friend, a nun, Mary Bergazzi, who visited, hung out, and handled all his financial affairs. He had a neighborhood attorney, a man he met in a garden party down the street. He had handled the estates of Lawrence’s siblings and did all the legal work necessary for the apartment building. He regularly visited Lawrence outside of work. As did Rena Bucchino who lived around the corner and had visited Lawrence regularly for over twenty years.

    Related Topic:  What is a Guardian ad Litem in Probate?

    In 1989, the lawyer drew up a will that left the apartment building to Rita and set up a life estate in one of the apartments for Teresa. Power of attorney was granted to Rita. Lawrence took care of his great neighborhood family.

    As the court put it later, “Moretti enjoyed warm relationships with the members of this trusted circle, conversing comfortably with them and joking with them during their visits.

    In 1990, Lawrence suffered some severe health problems. He did not want to go into a nursing home, the group of friends pulled together to help … in every way.

    Rita hired someone she had counseled at the health center, Romano Pagliarani, to move in with Lawrence and see to his everyday needs. That, of course, is when the problems started.

    If you’ve been following out blog you may think you know what’s coming … tune in next week to see if you’re right.

    MORE FROM OUR BLOG

    What is ancillary probate?  How do you know if it applies to your situation?  We will answer those questions and more in this post. My name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group. At our firm, we help families who have lost a loved one navigate the complex a...

    What can you do when a family member begins to take control of an estate?  There are several options, and we will review some important ones in this post. My name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group. At our firm, we help families who have lost a loved one ...

    What are the inheritance rights of spouses in Georgia?  Does the surviving spouse automatically inherit everything?  For that matter, does the surviving spouse even need to open probate?  We will answer those questions and more in this post. My name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & C...

    © 2022 Georgia Probate Law Group by Broel Law, LLC. All rights reserved.