Tom Selleck was found dead in his bathtub at home, on March 4th, 2021. The Palm Beach Post-Dispatch reports that he had been “executed” by a hit man. This is one of the most common ways that people die in Palm Beach County, Florida. Palm Beach County authorities have yet to determine if Selleck’s death was caused by suicide or by foul play, however, they are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death very thoroughly. His wife, Christina Selleck, has become obsessed with learning whether or not her husband was cheating on her.
The investigation into Selleck’s death is ongoing, as is the case of the other five bodies discovered in the area over the last year. Christina Selleck hired a private investigator after the five bodies were discovered. The investigation into her husband’s death was closed after she could not find anything conclusive in terms of motive or evidence linking him to the other deaths. One year later, Selleck’s body was discovered in the bathtub, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says that no foul play is suspected. Their investigation into Selleck’s wife has been closed, too.
In April, 2021, Christina Selleck filed a personal injury lawsuit against her husband, Tom, charging him with negligent supervision of their finances. According to Selleck’s attorney, Tom Selleck was not concerned about his finances because he held a small investment portfolio in a joint account with his wife. In a court filing, Selleck’s attorney contends that his wife became upset when he did not return an advance she sent him for medical treatment. According to Selleck’s attorney, Christina Selleck later told him that the reason she was upset was because her husband did not care about his financial situation as much as she did and did not return her “generous” payments. Christina Selleck’s attorney also maintains that she suffered a stroke while in a rehabilitation center following her husband’s death, due to stress from the whole ordeal.
In late July, Tom and Christina were involved in a heated discussion in their back yard over Christina’s request to have partial ownership of their jointly held assets. Tom was unhappy with this turn of events and asked his lawyer to come outside and talk to Christina. When the two men arrived, they found that Christina had called the police, claiming that Tom had thrown her against a wall, and that she had called the police because Tom had come to pick her up at his office hours the previous day. Christina had no idea that her husband held any assets in joint accounts.
After investigating, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office found that the majority of the money in the joint account had been going to Christina. So, after the divorce, Tom Selleck agreed to pay Christina one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in compensatory and punitive damages, out of pocket. Christina Selleck was devastated. Her attorney argued that Tom Selleck’s lack of knowledge about the laws regarding the distribution of marital funds, which governed intestate property, allowed him to be systematically looted of his wife’s inheritance, and that his conduct in this case was completely blameless.
A few months later, Tom and Christina got married again. However, Christina had to file a separate lawsuit against Tom, because, as she claimed in her second divorce suit, he had failed to disclose a stock holding account in his name that contained shares of Universal Life Insurance. Universal Life Insurance is one of the largest and most successful investments on Wall Street. The Internal Revenue Service allows “pass-through” profits, which means that a portion of the profit goes to the person selling the insurance policy, and then the rest goes to the beneficiary of the policy (usually the person who bought the policy, or their estate). So, Christina was able to recoup some of her losses from the sale of her share of Universal Life Insurance.
This is just one example of how a spouse can be taken advantage of by the other spouse in a divorce settlement. It is highly unlikely that the situations described here would have arisen if the spouses had been married in conventional terms. However, it is almost impossible to evaluate whether such a scenario would have arisen had they been married in conventional terms.
As you can see, the lesson for Tom Seleck is clear: his instincts are generally correct. If your spouse is behaving in a dishonest or disreputable manner, it is often better to just walk away and let a professional handle the problem. Even though divorce is final, you don’t want to risk letting your spouse to take your property without you getting any of the proceeds – after all, that’s what marriage is all about. To this end, it is often a good idea to let an experienced, honest attorney handle any legal property issues – so that you can concentrate on getting along with your other half.
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