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The Challenge of Compensating Shooter's Victims

Despite his higher than average personal wealth, there are significant challenges to making sure that all of Stephen Paddock's victims are properly compensated.

It still is not clear why Stephen Paddock decided to commit mass murder by shooting at Las Vegas concert goers from his hotel window. He was relatively well-off and had not been in trouble as far as anyone knows.

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The good news is that his estate is worth approximately $5 million. That money would ordinarily go to his mother, since Paddock is not known to have had an estate plan. However, Paddock's family has indicated they have no interest in his estate.

The bad news is that there are so many victims, it will be difficult to compensate them all, as The New York Times reports in "The Las Vegas Gunman Was Rich. Will His Wealth Go to the Victims?"

There are some challenges to making sure that all the money goes to the victims.

The first is that the estate could be rolled into an existing victims' compensation fund that has already raised $22 million. However, all of the victims might not be eligible for compensation under the fund's rules.

The second challenge is that many victims are filing independent claims and lawsuits to the estate.

The case is very complicated and the attorneys who are working on it need to be compensated for their time, but not so much that there is nothing left for the victims.

Reference: New York Times (Dec. 23, 2017) "The Las Vegas Gunman Was Rich. Will His Wealth Go to the Victims?"

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