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Court upholds legality of disinheritance on basis of religion

August 17, 2016

Upholding a lower court decision, a New Jersey appeals court ruled that state anti-discrimination law does not prevent parents from disinheriting children on the basis of religion.

In his 1987 will, Kenneth Jameson, a Catholic who died in 2014, asserted that he was disinheriting his daughter because she allegedly acted with “selfishness, manipulation, cruelty, and with abusiveness” toward him. His daughter, Stacy Wolin, contended that she was disinherited because of her parents’ strong opposition to her decision to date and marry a Jew.

The court ruled that even if a will’s provisions seem “shockingly unnatural and unfair,” New Jersey anti-discrimination law does not prohibit parents from disinheriting children “based upon an alleged discriminatory motive founded upon religion or religious affiliation.”

 
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