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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
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    WILLS MB not valid

    I found it shocking that with all the estate, money and children that BB had NO WILL and Melanie's was not valid, yet she was a notary.
    The couple were surrounded by legal help.
    The couple were not young and naive.
    What will happen now? any thoughts........http://www.fox10tv.com/dpp/news/crim...Will_Not_Valid
    Last edited by passionflower; 08-29-2009 at 11:22 AM. Reason: forgot link
    Kyron, HALEIGH, ADJI & Gabriel NEEDS PRAYERS NOW TO FIND THEM!. Zahra & Jonathan in heaven
    Justice for Hailey!!!!
    No Justice for Caylee Marie..........

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by passionflower View Post
    I found it shocking that with all the estate, money and children that BB had NO WILL and Melanie's was not valid, yet she was a notary.
    The couple were surrounded by legal help.
    The couple were not young and naive.
    What will happen now? any thoughts........http://www.fox10tv.com/dpp/news/crim...Will_Not_Valid
    I think it was stated in the article what will happen:

    All assets of both Byrd and Melanie go to their daughter, Ashley Markham.

    "She is charged with handling the estate," Litvak added.

    Markham will be responsible for the couple's nine children and her parents home, worth over $800,000


    Actually, I am surprised that the money is not equally divided between all of the surviving children, including the estranged adult children. I am not certain why everything will go to Ashley. Does anyone else know why?

  3. #3
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  4. #4
    Probate records show filing by a KL, Esq. How many attorneys are there? And with all those attorneys, no valid wills........??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomisskitty View Post
    Probate records show filing by a KL, Esq. How many attorneys are there? And with all those attorneys, no valid wills........??
    I would guess KL is Kramer Litvak. He handled all the guardianships for Ashley as well. He is Robert Beasley's partner. IMO both are very reputable and qualified attorneys. Ashley made a good choice with this firm. Not sure what she was thinking when she made the first attorney choice

    ETA: Filing a will would have been Melanie and Bud's responsibility. Ashley can't be faulted with that. I don't know if the Billings used a family attorney, but from county documents it looks like they represented themselves on personal issues ie adoption of grandchild, Sovereign Forms, name copyrights,etc.
    Last edited by pinkinablueworld; 08-30-2009 at 03:09 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    17
    On the lack of wills issue, it sounds like to me that the Billings assets were put into a trust by the parents with AM named the Administrator at the death of the parents. It would be done for tax purposes. Someone said somewhere that she had been given the entire estate because she was the oldest, but Michael is the oldest. But she was in their favor and the one they probably would have selected to administer the estate.

    It was mentioned by the family early on that there was a trust for the children.


    You can bet that if there were no wills or trust that the courts would be dividing up the assets in accordance with state law. But the court made a quick decision that AM would administer the estate. The trust named her as administrator and the court just agreed. No confusion or discussion because the family knew about the trust and the legal document was in place to make it happen. So, all that happened when the Billings couple died was that the administration of the trust moved from BB and/or MB to Ashley.

    Perhaps the items in MB's will were things she owned outside of the trust and the will was more like instructions to the family than a legal document.

    Anyway, that’s my guess.
    Last edited by Maggie22; 08-31-2009 at 11:42 AM.

  7. #7
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    Children cared for as Melanie Billings wished
    Melanie Billings’ wishes for the nine special-needs children she and her husband adopted are being followed.

    Ashley Markham, 26, her eldest daughter, and her husband, James “Blue” Markham, have moved into the family’s Beulah home to care for the children, who range from 11 to 4 years old.

    In a self-penned will, dated July 2003, Melanie Billings said that she wanted her children to remain together in same home under the care of Markham.

    “If in the event that the guardian is considering placing them in a facility, I wish for the guardian to hire someone instead to care for the children in their home, or it is my wish for a new guardian to be appointed,” Melanie Billings wrote.

    (snipped)
    http://pnj.com/article/20090831/NEWS01/90831016

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    All assets of both Byrd and Melanie go to their daughter, Ashley Markham.

    "She is charged with handling the estate," Litvak added.

    Markham will be responsible for the couple's nine children and her parents home, worth over $800,000

    http://www.fox10tv.com/dpp/news/crim...Will_Not_Valid
    According to this article:
    http://www.pnj.com/article/20090901/NEWS01/909010329

    Since there is no valid will for either parent, Florida law dictates that the couple's assets are to be divided equally among their heirs. The couple's estates were placed on file in the Escambia County Probate Office on Friday.......Markham already has partial ownership of the family businesses, Beasley said, meaning she either will partner with her siblings or could potentially buy out their shares.

    Interesting, both Litvak and Beasley work for the Markham, but they are making very different statements to the media. Wonder where the truth lies?



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