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Love VS. Money: Elderly Woman’s Marriage Threatens Estate

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Reported by Kacie Whaley

Edith Hill, 96, and Eddie Harrison, 95, are possibly the oldest interracial newlyweds in the country (Hill is black, Harrison is white). The Virginia couple, who spend their time dancing and taking walks together, married earlier this year, but a legal battle could soon end their happy union.

Hill met Harrison over a decade ago while the two were in line to purchase a lottery ticket. They instantly connected and their relationship began to flourish. They now live their lives as a team. They not only keep each other company, but since Hill has trouble with her sight and Harrison has trouble with his hearing, they both help each other in the area where the other is lacking.

“I guess I wanted company,” Hill said about why she married Harrison. “I wanted somebody I could help, and they could help me. We were both single. My husband was gone. His wife was gone. We became the best of friends.”

Unfortunately, legal issues are complicating Hill and Harrison’s marriage, The Sun Herald has reported. Hill’s family is worried about the fact that her new husband now has a legal right to her estate, which includes real-estate in Alexandria, Virginia that is worth an estimated $475,000. The marriage could also complicate Hill’s living arrangements. Because of this, Patricia Barber, Hill’s daughter and one of her guardians, opposes the marriage.

Because she is legally incapacitated, Hill was supposed to seek the court’s permission before getting married, but her other daughter/guardian, Patricia Wright, not only took Hill to get married without the court’s knowledge, but also without telling the rest of the family.

James Clark, the judge handing the case, took issue with the marriage, but added that breaking the elderly couple apart may “create a circumstance in Ms. Hill’s life that she doesn’t deserve.” He removed Hill’s daughters as guardians and put attorney Jessica Niesen in their place.

Niesen has been closely monitoring the husband and wife in order to determine what will be in the “best interest” of Hill. “I see no reason to break this couple up if there is no harm,” Neisen said. But if there is harm, Neisen could seek a divorce or annulment on Hill’s behalf.

Another possible outcome is to create a postnuptial agreement for the marriage, but Wright is against that.

Wright— who, after doing research, concluded that Hill and Harrison may be the oldest interracial newlyweds in the U.S.— believes that her mother’s new union is truly built on love and has even been improving Hill’s health.

“They can talk about things that nobody else knows about,” said Wright. “You catch them kissing all the time. They’re actually in love; really in love. I know he’s part of the reason she gets up every morning.”

While the issues concerning Hill’s estate are still being arranged, she and Harrison are living with Wright and her daughter, Robin. The couple insists they will stay together no matter what the court decides, reported NPR. “We’ll be like this always, regardless of what happens,” Harrison said in an interview with WUSA9 as he hugged his wife.

 

Source 1, Source 2

 

 

15 Comments

  1. Starr

    September 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I don’t understand why them being the oldest newlywed interracial couple matters.

  2. JohnD

    September 14, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Agree with the first comment. Why is it relevant in this story that they are the oldest interracial couple. What would have been worth noting would have been to find the longest interracial marriage. That’s a point of obvious interest to show interracial stability. This is more a probate story than race. Just sounds like one of the kids feel the potential of their pocket getting lighter as a result of this marriage ($450K lighter). No racial story here, just money.

  3. Devon

    September 14, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Greedy daughter.

  4. Regina

    September 14, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    What are the laws regarding community property? I have one solution for this marriage.

    POST-NUPTUAL AGREEMENT

  5. mssrv

    September 14, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    They should sign papers or will to clarify everything; too late for prenup

  6. Arneader

    September 14, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    WOW! If this couple was originally in a home ….they should be allowed to remain married. If they were originally in the care of someone I would reconsider.

  7. ericaf

    September 15, 2014 at 4:24 am

    Just imagine the legal fight for the estate when the lady dies. Shameful

  8. Gwendolyn Aqui-Brooks

    September 16, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Life is so short! If these folks have love God bless them.
    Shame on the children! They should be happy for their mother. They should thank God everyday
    that she is still in life!
    Whatever, they get in terms of money/land from her estate, it’s a blessing since they didn’t go to work to
    earn any of it.
    They should go somewhere and sit down mind their own business! Let their mother enjoy the last days of
    her life in peace.

  9. Fatima El

    September 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    The Elephant in this Story INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE. Anyone with common sense know that is her property. There nothing mentioned about his net worth. LOVE IS LOVE. TO SEEK OUT THE JUDGE OF MANS COURT THE MOST HIGH GOD IS THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER. My Grandmother is 102 clothed in her right mind. Laughed when she read this. She stated “Jim Crow” is still Alive and breathing.

  10. D Turner

    September 27, 2014 at 12:42 am

    now that’s true love…just remember he’s 96 & he didn’t choose here based on how much $ she has but based on the person she is(inside & out)

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