Lawyer Accused Of Fraud Over Will
A lawyer should lose his license indefinitely for writing a new will for a mentally ill woman that gave more than $400,000 to a state lawmaker and his aide, a state board recommends.
The Board of Bar Overseers said Michael J. Muse, who collected $91,000 in fees in the case, committed gross errors of judgment, partly out of personal interest.
A judge last year vacated the 1981 will Muse drew up for Mary Guzelian to benefit state Rep. Kevin Fitzgerald and aide Patricia McDermott, saying they took advantage of Guzelian’s mental illness.
The judge awarded the money to a sister of Guzelian who had been named sole beneficiary in the woman’s previous will.
Guzelian died in 1985 at the age of 68 after being struck by a taxi.
The new will was drawn up after Fitzgerald and McDermott found cash and bank books in Guzelian’s apartment while trying to help keep her from being evicted.