O'Quinn's Troubled Legacy

Posted on August 24th, 2010 No Comments

When famed Texas trial lawyer John O’Quinn skidded off a Houston parkway in a speeding SUV and slammed into a tree last October, he left behind a mixed legacy.

He had won billions of dollars for clients but incurred rebukes from bar groups for ethical misconduct. Ex-clients and employees said he had cheated them, but he also handed over massive contributions to multiple good causes.

In the last five years of his life, he had collected more than 800 classic cars. And that’s now the source of one of the most bitter disputes his death has provoked.

What the twice-divorced lawyer didn’t leave behind was a single sheet of paper that would have bequeathed to his longtime companion the 28 cars she says he meant her to have.

Despite Lexington’s claims of shared finances and marriage, O’Quinn left his entire estate to his charitable foundation. Although there was a provision in the will that allowed him to make adjustments for individuals, he never did before his death.

A to-do list he wrote shortly before his death lists the task of seeing a lawyer for the purpose of a “will change for D” — presumably Darla Lexington.

“What’s relevant in the eyes of the law is not what people say he was going to do, but rather what he actually did,” Houston lawyer Dale Jefferson, who represents the estate, said in a telephone interview last week.

Darla was the beneficiary of a $2 million death insurance policy, and the estate is currently paying her $6000 per month.

This case is just one of many where the likely intentions of those who have passed do not match with their wills. Do not leave your will for tomorrow, because you never know what might happen. Contact the Houston estate planning attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C. by calling 281-362-2865 today.

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