Thomas Bucher, son of retired Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas Judge Wilson Bucher, died in July 2008. It was a suicide. His will gave the bulk of his estate to the Lancaster County Public Library – an estimated $1 million. We wrote about the case in an earlier blog post.
Judge Joseph Rehkamp, the Perry County Judge who is hearing the case because of Lancaster County judges’ recusal, has dismissed Wilson Bucher’s motion for summary judgment ruling that while there’s no evidence his family was stealing from him, Thomas Bucher "had a strained relationship with his father and mother and siblings, and had expressed animus toward his brothers-in-law, particularly Steven R. Blair" — and that his suspicions did not amount to an "insane delusion."
Judge Rehkamp stated in his opinion that Thomas Bucher "had a rational basis for willing his entire estate to a charity. . . . ""Despite the argument of Attorney Blair that Thomas Bucher had an insane delusion at the time he executed his will, none of the answers supplied by the scrivener of the will nor his associate indicate other than a rational mindset in willing his estate to the Lancaster Public Library."
"There is, at minimum, a genuine dispute of material fact as to the state of the mind of the decedent [Thomas Bucher] to prevent the granting of a motion for summary judgment in this matter."
Read the Intelligencer Journal article about the ruling here.: A Battle of Wills.
The article states: "Both the office and the library had asked that Blair be disqualified as attorney for petitioner Wilson Bucher due to his close connection to the case. But Rehkamp ruled against those requests, saying that ‘this court is satisfied, upon review of the case file, under the circumstances of this matter, that [Blair] shall continue as attorney for petitioner.’"
There will be a hearing on the insane delusion claim. Also, Steven Blair, attorney for Wilson Bucher has also raised a claim based on an oral contract to make a will.
Stay tuned for Part 3.