Two money-hungry British stepsisters went to court to determine which of their parents died first. The couple John Carle (79) and his wife Ann (69) died of hypothermia at the same time in October 2016, according to the death certificate. Because the time is the same, it is still unclear which daughter can claim a home of more than 300,000 pounds. Anna Winter: Carle’s daughter from a previous marriage, or Deborah Cutler: the daughter that Ann had before she met John Carle.
The ladies have been arguing for years about the legacy of their father and mother, but despite frantic attempts by hired brokers it has still not been possible to divide the estate. To get clarity once and for all, the quarreling women hope for final judgment by the judge. It is in Britain for the first time in seventy years that a similar case serves.
Anna Winter and Deborah Cutler – the arguing stepsisters – have hired lawyers to look after their interests. They also want to try to prove with witness statements and police reports who was the first to blow his or her last breath: John Carle or his wife Ann, ten years younger.
According to Anna Winter, the woman died first, so Anna’s father John Carle automatically inherited all possessions as the surviving survivors. In other words, she is the rightful heir to the house and money that the couple still had in their account.
Her stepsister, Deborah Cutler (the woman’s daughter) claims the exact opposite. She states that Carle died first so that his wife Ann would get everything. “My mother lived the longest, so everything for me,” says Deborah. She relies on a police report which states that the woman died earlier than her husband, based on external characteristics.
In 2019 it is almost impossible to determine who died before, because the husband and wife must have died somewhere between 3 and 11 October 2016. In those days they were no longer seen by neighbors or relatives.
The bodies of John Carle and his wife Ann are no longer available for investigation, so the Supreme Court in England may have to extract an old law that was applied for the last time in 1950.
“We have to because otherwise we can do nothing but speculate about the time of death,” said the lawyer of one of the women who are portrayed in the British media as “corpses.” “Because they could have divided the value of the house and money,” it is stated in articles that include photos of the two.
The relevant law from 1793, the so-called Commorientes rule, is taken away from the stable in Great Britain if it must be determined who died first if it is unclear in a disaster, war or other circumstance, for example. The law states that the death order in such a case can be determined on the basis of age.
The current rule is that the oldest person will be the first to die and the youngest to be the last. In the case of John Carle (79) and his Ann (69), the law would mean that the man died first (even though that might not be true, ed.) And so the woman survived him and became heir.
If the law is actually applied by the Supreme Court, Deborah Cutler will receive the house and money from her mother. The only way for Anna Winter (the man’s daughter) to get her right is to provide evidence that her dad died second. Whether she has one is still unknown. The judge will rule for the stepsisters later this year.