Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

The Case of 'For a Few Dollars More'

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

The Case of 'For a Few Dollars More'

Article excerpt

CASE DESCRIPTION

This case starts with a nasty divorce, but shifts to an apparently amicable ending with the husband agreeing to give his wife all of the joint assets. But he ends up murdered the day before he intends to sign the papers. With the wife set to receive all of the assets through the divorce, and since there are no children and no will to provide alternative beneficiaries, the question becomes who benefits by his death.

CASE SYNOPSIS

The most obvious suspect in the highly publicized murder is the spouse, as is often the case. And the spouse appears to have the opportunity to commit the crime, and the means (a letter opener) is not an issue, but she has no apparent motive to commit the murder. A conviction is usually a function of means, motive, and opportunity. It takes an accountant to solve the case, convict the spouse, and implicate her most recent lover.

INSTRUCTORS' NOTES

In the majority of states (such as Georgia), equitable division rules govern property transactions between spouses at times of divorce or death. In Georgia, for instance, if a husband and his wife bought Microsoft stock in 1980 for $2 and saw it grow to 1,000,000- if the husband died and left his share to the wife, his basis in the stock would be stepped up to $500,000. The wife would continue to have a $1 Basis for her half and would acquire the stepped up basis for the inherited share. If she sold the stock, she would have a gain (1,000,000 - 500,00 1)=499,999. …

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