Local news coverage of the arrest was good – more information available for investigative reporters

Lots of news coverage and comments this week but more information is available for a good reporter who cares to dig a little deeper.

 Suggestions as to how Ray could have ended up in Pennsylvania, why would someone file a forged will, many more questions in the comment section of the stories.

First question of most –  why was a will needed in this case? The death occurred in Pennsylvania and the widow gets all….

Answer, omitted in story:  Because most of the deceased estate and assets were in Maryland, and Maryland has a distinct different set of rules governing estates.  The widow gets the first $15,000.00 and 1/2 of the remainder – after expenses are paid for an intestate estate.  The spouse gets all that is titled jointly and in this case Raymond had a sizeable estate in Maryland in his name. When the estate was opened in Pennsylvania with the forged will it states on the signed record that the decedent had no assets in Pennsylvania.

The deceased had a huge collection of antiques, coins, a comfortable home near the Susquehanna River with lots of equity, savings, 401K, pension and life insurance. Some of the cash assets would transfer to the widow due to Maryland inheritance and access – others not.  Darlene would have to share  with her mother in law all the assets in Maryland or persuade her to sign it over to her. And Darlene had not treated Mom or ray’s family very well at the viewing —or after.

 She needed a will.  And, she needed it quick. What to do….according to testimony she relied on her sister, Annetta Frackman and new friends she became acquainted with through her new husband.  Once she had a fully executed will she filed it in Pennsylvania, not Maryland.  Why? 

The forged will was used to establish an estate in Pennsylvania only because the widow chose the location for convenience and she thought she would get everything. And, once she had a successful probate as the sole heir she could take that probate to Maryland and claim all the assets there. 

However,  strange things happened when too many forgeries popped up in Pennsylvania, Mom got suspicious and started looking for answers.  She found more than she expected – especially when she was served court papers from New york Life Insurance Company to appear in Philadelphia Federal Court along with Ray’s first wife Janet Wilkinson (Zachry) and Darlene the widow to show cause why they should receive the proceeds of this life insurance policy.

Mom was 1200 miles away in Florida and had just returned from a visit to Maryland when Federal Express delivered a package to the door.  She had been served court documents that she was being sued in Philadelphia federal Court by New York Life Insurance Company.

This was not going as she expected a loving wife to behave – especially when she did not ask her daughter in law for anything other than the few family heirlooms she had left with Ray when she retired to Florida.  Other than that, Darlene did have everything – until that second forged document arrived in her mailbox.

More documents will be posted on www.denied-justice.com

Visit often for updates

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