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James Ritzo

Apr 28, 2015 7:21 PM

Geraldine Webber's former attorney says she was incompetent to change will


DOVER - A former long-time attorney for Geraldine Webber, who left $2.7 million to Portsmouth Police Sergeant Aaron Goodwin when she passed away in 2012, said on Tuesday that the woman did not have the mental capacity to make such a decision.

James Ritzo, of Portsmouth, told the judge during a hearing at 7th Circuit - Probate Division - Dover that Webber was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease when she changed her will so Goodwin would inherit most of her possessions, including a home and Cadillac, as well as stocks and bonds.

"She was incompetent," Ritzo said.

"What does that mean to you?" asked attorney Charles Doleac.

"She didn't know what she was doing," Ritzo replied.

Ritzo told the court that he filed a complaint against Goodwin in May of 2012, because of his relationship with Webber.

"He was going down to see her," Ritzo said. "From what I understand, she was not being taken care of."

Ritzo said he was concerned Webber was being unduly influenced by Goodwin.

Webber had, in the past, created wills leaving money to other organizations, such as Shriner's Hospital and Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She also provided for her disabled grandson. All would have received more of Webber's estate before her will was changed to favor Goodwin.

On Monday, Ritzo testified that Webber had, in the past, always wanted to give back to the Portsmouth fire and police departments when she died.

Webber, of Portsmouth, was 93-years-old when she passed away.

-NH1 News' Tyler Dumont contributed to this report.


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