Murdaugh's Wife Left a Will Behind, but With One 'Oddity'

Someone had crossed off name of Maggie Murdaugh's sister as estate handler on 2005 doc
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2021 6:35 AM CST
Updated Jan 2, 2022 8:00 AM CST
New Twist in Murdaugh Murders Involves Wife's Will
This photo shows Alex Murdaugh.   (Hampton County Detention Center via AP)

The strange saga swirling around South Carolina's Murdaugh family continues, now involving the supposed final wishes of the late Maggie Murdaugh. NBC News reports the 52-year-old, found shot to death in June in her rural Islandton home along with 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh, left behind a last will and testament that bequeaths all of her property to her husband, attorney Alex Murdaugh, 53. The will was signed in August 2005, when Paul Murdaugh and his brother, Buster Murdaugh, 25, were still kids. The boys were to receive all properties if both parents died.

Although it's not clear which properties are involved in the will, it suggests Alex Murdaugh can claim ownership of the family's nearly 1,800-acre homestead, known as Moselle, which was transferred from Alex to Maggie in 2016. The Island Packet, which first reported on the will, notes one "oddity" in it: Although Maggie's sister, Marian Proctor, was originally deemed the person who would handle her estate, Proctor's name was crossed out in pen on an unspecified date and replaced with the name of Randolph Murdaugh III, Alex Murdaugh's father, who died after a long illness just days after the murders.

Earlier this month, a Colleton County probate judge named John Marvin Murdaugh, Alex's brother, as the estate handler. "I can't tell you why [Maggie] would have done that. I just don't know," he told NBC Tuesday on why Proctor's name had been crossed out. He added that members of Maggie's family, whom he says he's on good terms with, confirmed the writing was hers. WSAV notes the development of the will is at odds with claims by one of Alex Murdaugh's attorneys that his client is broke. "As a result of recent events, he is not a man of significant means anymore," Dick Harpootlian said Sept. 16. "Everything he has dried up."

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The Moselle property could turn out to be important, as it may be tied to settlements or judgments in the handful of civil lawsuits Alex Murdaugh is facing regarding both alleged insurance scams in which he stole millions from clients, as well as a 2019 boating accident that killed a 19-year-old woman. Murdaugh isn't officially considered a suspect in the murders of his wife and son, though his legal team says authorities are looking at him as a person of interest. He's currently facing dozens of felony criminal charges, most related to the insurance scams, as well as charges about a botched suicide attempt, and is in custody in Richland County on a $7 million bond. (More Alex Murdaugh stories.)

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