In 2010, multimillionaire Floridian John Goodman was involved in a drunk driving accident that resulted in him running a stop sign, crashing into another car, and causing the death of a 23-year-old man. The 48-year-old Goodman recently adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend as his child. The question is, why?
To answer this question, we have to look back to when Mr. Goodman established an irrevocable trust on behalf of his two currently teenage children. The trust, now worth an estimated $400 million. The trust also states that his two children cannot receive the bulk of the trust until they reach the age of 35, when they can determine how to distribute the trust themselves.
Also, Mr. Goodman is facing a pending wrongful death lawsuit that stems from the death in the accident. If found guilty in the lawsuit, as well as in the criminal case against him, Mr. Goodman could not only lose his entire fortune but could also face up to 30 years in jail. However, the money in the irrevocable trusts he created for his children would not generally be subject to the lawsuit. So, when he adopted his girlfriend as his child, she would therefore be able to receive an equal share of the trust and could then share it with him.
However, a judge recently ruled that the trust would no longer be shielded because of his adoption, and lawyers for his children have moved to have the adoption revoked.