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National Briefing / WISCONSIN

Suicide helpers can inherit

September 26, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

The wife and daughter of a man who committed suicide can inherit his estate even if they assisted him in the act, a state appeals court ruled.

State law prohibits anyone who "intentionally kills" another from inheriting from the person, but the appellate court said that provision does not apply to those who assist in suicide.

"Providing [the man] with a loaded shotgun did not deprive him of his life: He deprived himself of life by shooting himself with the shotgun," Judge Margaret Vergeront wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel.

Edward Schunk, 63, shot himself in 2006 while he was terminally ill with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The court ruled in favor of his wife, Linda, and youngest child, Megan Schunk, now 20.

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