92-year-old Kathryn Johnson
Most wills contain standard language requiring executors to pay charitable pledges "whether enforceable or not" out of the estate before any amounts are paid to heirs.
In August of last year, the Rev. Markel Hutchins strained the "enforceable or not" language farther than it was ever intended to go by suing the estate of Kathryn Johnson, the 92-year-old notoriously shot to death by police return-fire in a mistaken drug raid.
Johnson's estate famously won a settlement against the City of Atlanta in the amount of $4.9 million for, among other things, her wrongful death in the raid.
Hutchins is suing for $490,000, which represents a "tithe" from the $4.9 million estate, reports AtLaw. The tithe is owed him, Hutchins has said in pleadings because of his role as "principal strategist and issue manager; public relations expert; crisis intervention and crisis management expert; investigator; project manager; government relations expert; and other duties as requested by the Defendants and those acting in concert with them."
The case is presently before the Georgia Court of Appeals on interlocutory appeal from an early trial court ruling.
Tanner Pittman, LLC is a West Georgia law firm that specializes in estate services, civil litigation, and legal transactions.
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