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Son Kills Parents In Order To Receive Inheritance

By March 4, 2013Estate Planning

There are stories we hear that simply seem inconceivable, and this is one of them.  We often see families and/or beneficiaries arguing and fighting over inheritance.  We’ve even seen children try and alter their parent’s wishes or manipulate parents that are susceptible in order to avoid having to share the funds with others.  However, we have not had cases where murder came into play.  Unfortunately, that seems to be exactly what has happened in Manchester in July of 2012.

Stephen Seddon is currently on trial for the murder of his parents, Robert and Patricia Seddon.  The couple were found in their home having been shot by a sawed off shotgun.  Patricia was found in the hallway having been shot in the head “at very close range.”  Robert was found shot in the living room slumped on the sofa.  The prosecutor states that Stephen Seddon attempted to make the killing look like a murder-suicide by placing the weapon on his father’s lap with his hand over it.

Stephen was facing financial difficulties at the time of his parents’ death.  He had a large number of debts and, despite his financial difficulties, had recently placed a bid of nearly $400,000 on purchasing a pub, mentioning to the current owner (who was aware of his financial difficulties) that he was receiving an inheritance.  Stephen’s inheritance from his parents would be about $350,000.

Stephen had also apparently attempted to kill his parents before this incident.  He had rented a BMW and went to his parents house where he encouraged them to let him give them a ride.  A number of witnesses saw the car speeding along a stretch of road before it swerved suddenly and plunged into a canal.  When firefighters arrived at the scene, Stephen was standing on the roof of the car while his parents were trapped in the back seats.  Rescuers told him to get off the roof as he was causing the car to sink.

Stephen is a married father of three that became unemployed in 2011.  His parents had helped him out financially on a number of occasions, they had given him around $60,000 and had also purchased a house for him on the contingency that they would pay the mortgage and he would pay the rent.

When notified of his parents’ death, Stephen never asked for any particulars as to how his parents died.  Instead, he is said to have moaned and then talk about how their death would negatively affect him.  Stephen stated, “What am I going to do now, I’m going to lose the house, the mortgage is in my dad’s name.”

It is truly tragic the lengths some people will go for money.  This case is still at court, but Stephen Seddon is facing 1st degree murder as well as multiple accounts of attempted murder.

About Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!


This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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