Edith Hill, 96, and Eddie Harrison, 95, met over a decade ago while standing in line to buy lottery tickets – one of which turned out to be a $2500 winner – and have been companions ever since. No one objected to them being together until they married earlier this year.
So what is the problem? Although the newlyweds seem to be happy, Edith’s daughter Patricia Barber is opposing the marriage on the grounds that her mother was not legally competent to marry. Not to mention the marriage could affect her rather large inheritance.
Now the marriage is being questioned in the courts. NPR reports that Barber’s attorney, Cary Cuccinelli, claims that Edith’s other daughter, Rebecca Wright, should not have allowed her mother to marry without the court’s permission because she has been legally incapacitated for several years.
According to Yahoo News, Edith, who suffers from dementia, has an estate worth nearly half a million dollars. And Barber is upset because her mother’s marriage to Eddie has complicated the matter of how to distribute that estate when she passes.
“Legally, Mr. Harrison now has a right to a portion of Ms. Hill’s estate,” Cuccinelli told a judge at a hearing last month. She pointed out that the marriage also brings up questions over who will care for Hill and where she will live.
The marriage between the adorable Annadale, Virginia couple seems to be quite romantic. Edith’s granddaughter, Rebecca Wright said, “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.”
“I guess I wanted company. I wanted somebody I could help, and they could help me,” Edith said. “We were both single. My husband was gone. His wife was gone. We became the best of friends.”
Eddie Harrison said that he and his new wife never fight, and they both understood the implications of the marriage. “The first time I married I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said. “Two weeks later I wanted a divorce.”
Luckily for Edith and Eddie, Judge James Clark is on the side of love. While he found the marriage to be legally improper, he is doing all that he can to keep from breaking the marriage up, saying that doing so could “create a circumstance in Ms. Hill’s life that she doesn’t deserve.”
Judge Clark has removed both daughters as their mother’s guardians and appointed a lawyer, Jessica Nielson to “investigate the marriage and take all actions appropriate and reasonable to protect the best interest of Edith Hill.”
Nelson is gathering facts and has an appointment to meet with the newlyweds. She would prefer to let the marriage continue. “I see no reason to break this couple up, if there is harm,” she said, noting that one solution might be a postnuptial agreement protecting Hill’s estate.
For now, Edith and Eddie still live in Annadale, with Rebecca Wright and her daughter, Robin, as their caretakers. Wright said they did a good job of taking care of each other also – dancing, listening to music, and taking walks together.
Wright maintains that the companionship they provide each other can’t be underestimated, and this study reported by Inquisitr shows she may be right. But she still fears the authorities will try to break up her mother’s marriage.
What do you think? Should the marriage be allowed to continue?
Photo courtesy of AP