Sunday, January 4, 2009

Former Judge accuses deceased son of "insane delusion"; contests bequest to Lancaster Public Library

According to a Petition No. 36-2008-1522, recorded in the Lancaster Court of Common Pleas on August 21, former County Judge Wilson Bucher is contesting the estate of his deceased son, Thomas W. Bucher, who died in July, 2008.

Five years prior to his demise, Thomas Bucher signed a Will that states "I give the residue of my estate, real and personal, to the Lancaster County Library, Lancaster, Pennsylvania."

The library has subsequently changed its name to the Lancaster Public Library. It is located at 125 N. Duke Street in the City.

The estate is anticipated to be in the amount of $500,000.

Judge Bucher contends his son Thomas "was suffering from an insane delusion caused by a mental condition that was initially diagnosed in 1975 and from which he suffered for the remainder of his life… The aforementioned insane delusion was that his immediate family was conspiring to divert his legacy under a will by a related aunt by marriage that was being probated at the time decedent’s probated will was executed…. Moreover, the scrivener of decedent’s will, Attorney Theodore Brubaker, confirmed to the undersigned counsel that the decedent initially approached him the insane delusion that his family was stealing from him." (Note that it in the preceding sentence it is Judge Bucher and not attorney Brubaker who is describing the deceased as having an "insane delusion." Also, this is but a representation by Judge Bucher of what Brubaker told him.)

Black's Law Dictionary, Eighth Edition, defines insane delusion as: "An irrational, persistent belief in an imaginary state of facts resulting in a lack of capacity to undertake acts of legal consequence, such as making a will."

The son was gainfully employed, unmarried, and without children. As indicated above, five years had past since he signed his Will.

Due to Judge Bucher’s claim, what had appeared to have been a blessing for the library and the public has become a drain on the library's already scarce funds in order to defend the bequest against the judge's challenge.

Judge Bucher is represented by his son-in-law, attorney Steven R. Blair