Trusts & Estates Law Decisions: Decided

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In a shocking twist, the Utah woman who accidentally killed her husband in a car crash, then sued herself as the representative of her husband's estate as a result of the car crash, won before the Utah Supreme Court last month. The ruling, which seems so absurd, confirms that the legal "absurdity doctrine" did not apply to the situation.

Although the Utah woman was at fault for the accident, her role as the executor of her husband's estate essentially makes her a third party acting on behalf of her husband's estate. So while for the sake of appearances it looks like she is suing herself, it is actually her late husband's estate that is suing her. The estate collects any settlement or verdict, and would distribute the funds with the rest of the late husband's assets.

$19M Settlement for Painting Stolen by Nazis

This is one legal decision that is anything but boring. A mix of great art, Nazis, and delayed compensation for a stolen family possession would interest just about anyone. A settlement of $19 million was announced on July 20, between Austria's Leopold Museum and the family of a Jewish art dealer from whom an Egon Schiele painting was stolen more than half a century ago.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the original owner of the painting was an Austrian art dealer by the name of Lea Bondi Jaray. Jaray fled Austria for England in 1939, leaving Schiele's portrait of his "redheaded mistress" Valerie Neuzil, called "Portrait of Wally," behind. After the end of the war, Allied authorities liberated the painting from Nazi clutches, and turned it over to the Austrian Federal Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments. The painting was then sold to the Austrian National Gallery, who sold it to collector Rudolf Leopold, who set up the Leopold Museum which housed the portrait.