Maggie Murdaugh, the murdered wife of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, left all her property to her husband in a will signed 16 years before her untimely death.
While it’s unclear exactly what property Maggie Murdaugh owned at the time of her death, it appears that one property she owned was Moselle, the family estate where she and youngest son Paul were found shot to death this summer, The Raleigh News & Observer reported.
Alex Murdaugh, currently jailed on 48 counts alleging financial crimes against former clients and fraud charges related to his “suicide by hire” scheme, transferred Moselle to his wife in 2016, the paper said.
One of his many attorneys, Jim Griffin, told the newspaper that he thought the wife’s will would not “in any form or fashion” be a motive to kill his wife.
“I think her untimely death actually works harm to his financial planning by having the (Moselle) property conveyed back to him through probate,” said Griffin, who has quickly come forward to deny each allegation that has been leveled at his client. “It opens it up to creditors’ claims and, before, it was protected.”
Alex Murdaugh has been considered a person of interest since the murders, which sparked a series of unfortunate events leading to the loss of his law license, being fired from the law firm his great grandfather founded more than 100 years ago, and the many criminal charges against him, as well as multiple civil lawsuits. The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division has been extremely tight-lipped about the murder investigation, however, and no arrests have been made.
A judge in November froze Murdaugh’s assets at the request of the parties who have filed civil lawsuits against him, and his attorneys have asked the judge to reconsider.
An odd piece of Maggie Murdaugh’s will centers around the naming of a personal representative. Maggie initially named her sister, Marion Procter, to serve in that capacity, but her name was marked out by hand and replaced with Alex’s father, Randolph Murdaugh III, who died three days after the murders. It’s not clear when that change took place or who made the change, but Griffin was positive it happened before her death.
“My understanding is that the will that is probated is the original will, so that would have been something [Maggie] did during her lifetime,” he told the News & Observer. “It was not done after her death, I can tell you that … No one did that after her death, so that would have been done during her lifetime by her.”
Alex Murdaugh’s brother, John Marvin Murdaugh, was appointed personal representative on December 9, the same day Procter signed an affidavit saying she didn’t know that she had been named the representative in the will to begin with and was not paid to relinquish the post. In fact, she said in the affidavit, she didn’t know anything about it at all until another attorney, E.W. Bennett Jr, sent her a document to sign renouncing her appointment.
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[Featured image: Alex and Maggie Murdaugh/Facebook]