A last-minute settlement deal means the widow of drowned hedge fund millionaire Seth Tobias will avoid a trial. As reported here, here, lawyers for Filomena Tobias and Seth Tobias’ brothers Friday night made a confidential deal avoiding a week-long trial expected to receive national attention and provide an inside look into a life of money, sex and drugs. The Tobias brothers were battling Filomena Tobias over the former CNBC commentator’s estate, worth $25 million.
As I previously wrote here, this case boiled down to a battle between two little known inheritance legal doctrines that can have a huge impact on who gets what from an estate: Florida’s slayer statute vs. it’s pretermitted spouse statute (both statutes are explained at length in my prior blog post on this case). Fortunately for the parties involved the costs and uncertainties of a trial were avoided. I once heard a friend say: “Your best outcome at trial is almost always second best to a negotiated settlement deal.” I think that’s generally good advice. On the other hand, for Florida probate attorneys this would have been a fascinating case to follow.