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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

In a shocking news report, a 92 year old woman living in Arizona shot and killed her 72 year old son after she learned he wanted to place her in an assisted living facility. According to news agencies Anna Mae Blessing, a 92 year-old resident of Fountain Hills, Arizona, used two handguns to attack and kill her 72 year old son. She also attempted to shoot her son’s girlfriend who was able to save her own life by successfully removing the handguns from Blessing. As reported by the Charlotte Observer:

“This is definitely an odd one,” Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Bryant Vanegas told news agencies. “There’s a lot of circumstances surrounding it, of course, but it’s definitely something you don’t see every day and it’s very unfortunate that this took place.” Police responded to the home and found Blessing sitting in a recliner, and arrested her there after she continued to refuse to follow their orders, police said in a probable cause statement filed with the Court.


Police later learned from interviews that Blessing had been upset because her son and his girlfriend had been planning to move her to an assisted living facility. The deceased man’s girlfriend told police Blessing confronted the victim and told him she was tired of how she was being treated before violence erupted.

The police further reported, “According to statements provided by suspect Blessing and received by the detectives, she had been contemplating for several days her son’s intentions to place her in an assisted living facility. Blessing retrieved two pistols and concealed them in the pockets of her robe then confronted her son in his bedroom.”

“During the confrontation, Blessing stated that she removed the handgun and fired multiple rounds striking and killing her son. She then pointed the gun at her son’s girlfriend and the two struggled over the weapon when it was dislodged from her hand. Blessing retrieved the second handgun and attempted to point it at the girlfriend, who knocked it from Blessing’s possession.”

Police were able to arrest Blessing without further incident, and when asked what should happen to her, she reportedly said she should be “put to sleep,” according to court records, and also said she had intended to kill herself but did not have enough guns.

While this is an odd and nearly unheard of situation, it’s not uncommon for parents to resist children’s efforts to move them into an assisted living center. Based on our experience as attorneys dealing with Estate Planning and helping families through these types of situations, the best advice that we can give is that discussions concerning Assisted Living care or moving to an assisted living center on to occur long before the event actually happens. It’s important for every person, including the parent, to have a say in what happens to them and where they go.

Alternatively, by completing at least a basic estate plan the children will have durable power of attorney and health care power of attorney documents that could assist them in a situation such as this. We encourage parents and children to talk frequently about their estate planning so that everyone is aware of the nose what has been completed, what the basic plan is, and how children can assist and help their parents as they age.


When it comes to estate planning or probate you should never try to do it alone. If you have questions for yourself or for your family and loved ones, we can help. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Idaho. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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