Facing a 2010 manslaughter charge that could wind him up in jail for 30 years, millionaire business tycoon, John Goodman, made headlines this year for legally adopting his girlfriend, Heather Hutchins, as his daughter in an effort to include her in his family trust (originally set up years ago for his two minor children).
Such a move does not protect the trust against lawsuits, so, contrary to public perception, it was not done to shield his assets from his current legal woes. Rather, Goodman wanted to ensure that, should he end up behind bars, his girlfriend (daughter) would be provided for (as a beneficiary of his family trust).
Under the trust agreement, Hutchins isn’t immediately going to get $100 million or even $70 million. She is now a beneficiary entitled to draw on the income, but she can never be the trustee.
Moreover, under a separate agreement, Hutchins has agreed that only $5 million of the trust’s principal would ever pass on to her own children.
The main question in all of this is whether or not Goodman is abusing the state of Florida’s adoption law, which is designed to create parent-child relationships.
It will be interesting to see how this story continues to unfold.