Trusts & Estates

Lawyer Charged With Using Power of Attorney to Murder Her Well-to-Do Dad Loses Will Fight

Temporarily removed in September as personal representative of her well-to-do father’s estate, after she was charged with his murder in an unusual case based on an allegedly forged power of attorney for health care, a Missouri lawyer has now been permanently eliminated as his executor.

Susan Elizabeth “Liz” Van Note, 44, who is free on a $1 million cash bond and has pleaded not guilty in a Boone County first-degree murder and felony forgery case, was her father’s only child. A Clay County probate judge on Thursday made her removal as executor permanent and ordered her to turn over all assets from her father’s estate, according to the Associated Press and the Kansas City Star. The articles don’t make clear who will now serve as executor.

Van Note is accused in a September indictment of not only “knowingly caus[ing] the death of William B. Van Note by shooting him … either by acting alone or by knowingly acting together with or aiding another or others” but using a forged power of attorney for health care after the shooting to deny him potentially life-saving treatment. She allegedly presented the document to persuade his medical treatment team at a hospital in Boone County to remove him from life support after he survived a 2010 shooting at his Lake in the Ozarks vacation home.

The 67-year-old man’s longtime girlfriend, who he planned to marry, was shot to death in the same attack at their home, but no murder case has been brought concerning the death of Sharon Dickson, who would have been William Van Note’s primary beneficiary had she survived him. Her adult son, Andrew, who has retained a lawyer and is mounting a legal fight over Van Note’s estate, sought the removal of his daughter as executor. William Van Note, an accountant with real estate interests, was reportedly a millionaire, several times over.

Liz Van Note filed for bankruptcy in 2009, listing a little over $250,000 in assets and just under $375,000 in debts. The bankruptcy trustee has reportedly wondered where she got the money to post bond.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournalcom: “Lawyer Charged in Dad’s Murder Allegedly Used Forged Health Care Power of Attorney as Fatal Weapon”

Associated Press: “Trustee: Who paid for bond?”

Associated Press: “Mom in `death by forgery’ case had own conviction”

The Pitch: “Liz Van Note forges ahead with her defense in the killing of her millionaire father”

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