Thursday, September 20, 2018
Business

Joy Culverhouse didn't want her children to get a penny of her estate, court motion says

Even in her 90s, Joy Culverhouse was a woman of "strong will'' who made one thing perfectly clear — she didn't want her children to inherit any of her millions.

That's the latest claim in the battle over the estate of the widow of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Hugh Culverhouse Sr.

In a motion filed this week in Hillsborough County probate court, representatives of the estate are trying to quash attempts by Hugh Culverhouse Jr. and his sister, Gay Culverhouse, to revoke their mother's will and a multi-million dollar trust. The siblings don't have legal standing to challenge the will, the motion says, because Culverhouse disinherited them long ago.

In support of that claim, the representatives attached four wills and 12 trust agreements that Culverhouse signed between 2009 and 2012. All say: "I purposely have not provided for my children under this because they have each received sufficient gifts during my lifetime.''

Culverhouse, who died April 26 at 96, "was a vivacious out-going woman, of strong will and determination leaving unambiguous instructions that her children play no part in her affairs,'' the motion says.

But Hugh Culverhouse Jr. says the fact that his mother signed so many wills and trust agreements indicates something is not right.

"Would a sane, competent person amend their will every month, and sometimes every other day?'' he asked.

How it all started: Children of former Bucs owner Hugh Culverhouse refuse to release mother's body as family feuds

In their petition to revoke the will, Culverhouse and his sister have alleged that three men close to Joy Culverhouse in her last years took financial advantage of a wealthy woman addled by age and alcohol abuse.

As Culverhouse deteriorated, the petition says, lawyer Robert Waltuch and accountant Scott Lynch cut her off from her children and "manipulated'' her into making grandson Christopher Chapman her heir while they took large personal loans, "outrageous'' salaries and steered her into risky investments with "disastrous consequences.''

Previous coverage: $1.2 million of Joy Culverhouse's surreptitiously sold prior to her death, son says

In their motion to dismiss the petition, the three men called the allegations "unsubstantiated'' and "without basis in fact or law.''

"As Decedent disinherited her children a very long time ago, they lack standing to bring this action and do not belong before this court,'' the motion says.

More than three months after her death, Culverhouse's body remains in a Tampa funeral home with the cost being paid by her estate. Her children, both in their 60s, initially said they would not authorize disposition of her remains until an autopsy was performed and they had access to her medical records, doctors and nurses.

Previous coverage: The family feud over Joy Culverhouse's estate continues and that's not that unusual

Hugh Culverhouse Jr. said he and his sister then said they would forego those conditions if her brain was autopsied but that their offer was rebuffed.

"We have to have a hearing to determine the issue as they object to every option we gave,'' he said.

Attorney Eric Adams, who is representing Culverhouse's grandson and the others, said the estate did not agree to an autopsy of the brain "because any autopsy would be against the wishes of Mrs. Culverhouse."

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate

Comments
They spent $15,000 adding a driveway to their St. Pete House. Now the city says they canít park on it

They spent $15,000 adding a driveway to their St. Pete House. Now the city says they canít park on it

ST. PETERSBURG ó One day in January, Dana Cremo was on her front porch hanging a vintage screen door when two city employees walked up. "You canít park on your driveway," they said. "Why?" she asked. "Because somebody filed a complaint," they said. F...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Pasco Business Digest for Sept. 28

Pasco Business Digest for Sept. 28

BrieflyPARADE APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE: The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce will host the 2018 "Magical Night Christmas Parade," sponsored by Florida Hospital Dade City/Zephyrhills on Dec. 7 on 8th Street, Dade City. Applications for se...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Federal loans open to Pinellas businesses struggling against Red Tide

Federal loans open to Pinellas businesses struggling against Red Tide

The U.S. Small Business Administration has extended its disaster loan program to include Pinellas and Pasco county businesses affected by Red Tide.Already, the Pinellas County Economic Development Office was taking applications for bridge loans to he...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida adds 20,500 jobs in August, unemployment rate unchanged at 3.7 percent

Florida adds 20,500 jobs in August, unemployment rate unchanged at 3.7 percent

Floridaís jobless rate held steady in August at 3.7 percent, unchanged from July, according to state figures released Friday. That makes this the 11th-straight month with an unemployment rate below 4 percent. The state added 20,500 jobs in August and...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Could Trump starve a Tampa Bay transit project of federal funds?

Could Trump starve a Tampa Bay transit project of federal funds?

ST. PETERSBURG ó The Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit line has succeeded where other Tampa Bay transit projects have failed. The project aimed at connecting downtown to the beaches has avoided anti-transit sentiment while securing money and support f...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tampa General nurses record the last heartbeats of dying patients, making a family memory

Tampa General nurses record the last heartbeats of dying patients, making a family memory

TAMPA ó As John Reisinger waited with family at Tampa General Hospital, grief settled in like a fog. So some of the details are hazy.But he remembers the moment when three women in white lab coats approached him.The day before, his niece, Jessica Rau...
Published: 09/21/18
Artificial intelligence might not threaten the human race, but it could be coming for your job

Artificial intelligence might not threaten the human race, but it could be coming for your job

You likely have heard how artificial intelligence is changing the world, from smart phones that keep getting smarter to all the experimenting with driverless vehicles.The rapidly improving technology has also begun replacing workers, especially anyon...
Published: 09/21/18
Former Tampa Bay exec and Chicoís CEO Shelley Broader discusses changing retail in St. Pete visit

Former Tampa Bay exec and Chicoís CEO Shelley Broader discusses changing retail in St. Pete visit

ST. PETERSBURG ó When Shelley Broader worked in Tampa Bay, she was turning around a failing grocery store.It was the early 2000s. Amazon wasnít a powerhouse yet, people were still on Myspace and no one was ordering groceries online. On Thursday, she ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
St. Pete approves biggest budget in city history: $717 million

St. Pete approves biggest budget in city history: $717 million

ST. PETERSBURG ó The City Council blessed the largest budget in city history on Thursday night, adopting a $717 million budget that starts Oct. 1.The 2019 budget is about $200 million more than the current budget. That massive increase was driven by ...
Published: 09/20/18
Marijuana use is now as common among baby boomers as it is among teens, federal data show

Marijuana use is now as common among baby boomers as it is among teens, federal data show

Talk to your grandparents about marijuana - before somebody else does.The latest release of a massive federal drug use survey shows monthly marijuana use has skyrocketed among older Americans. The past decade, in fact, has seen a sea change in the de...
Published: 09/20/18