The Thief of Souls

“Sure, it’s legal,” Tom told me, then after a pause, continued, “My best guess is that it was done that way to avoid probate.   Saves a ton of money in estate fees and taxes.  And, second, the transfer is instantaneous.  Probating an estate takes months.”

“So a person can transfer everything he owns to another person before he dies - real estate, bank accounts, stocks and bonds - without a will?”

“Sure,” Tom said.  “Only problem, once the property, bank account, or stock certificate is transferred, it ceases to be the property of the transferor.  So he’d have to trust the transferee immensely.  Or, know that he was going to die in fairly short order.”

“Well, that appears to be exactly what happened here.  Rostow signed over his fortune to Paul Lane the same day he died.”

After speaking with Bridge, I called Mrs. Lane to give her an update.

“It’s all very curious,”  I said,   “but, unfortunately, provides no answers.”

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