Disposition of property is a right. Part of the Bundle of sticks.
Hodel v. Irving
A will can only devise property owned by the testator at the time of death.
Shaw Family Archive v. CMG Worldwide
For conditional gifts, some constraints on marriage are OK. Courts will look at age, population, etc.
Shapira v. Union National Bank
For survival purposes at common law, only need to show by preponderance of the evidence that they survived by a millisecond.
Janus v. Tarasewicz:
Posthumously conceived children are considered issue provided (1) the decedent intended his genetics to be used in such a way, and (2) they are conceieved in a reasonable amount of time.
Woodward v. Commissioner of Social Security
When a governing instrument is silent, children born posthumously with consent of their parent are treated with same rights as a natural child.
In Re Martin B
One of the Bars to succession is homicide.
In re Estate of Mahoney
Disclaimer is a bar to succession, but it can?t be used as a work around to avoid taxes/creditors if you ultimately benefit from it.
Drye v. US
The federal government looks to state intestacy law to see if federal death benefits can be inherited by posthumously conceived children
Astrue v. Capato
adoption is considered a rebirth into a completely different relationship, and once a child is adopted, the rights of both the natural parents and relatives are terminated
Hall v. Vallandingham
You cannot adopt your spouse and have them be treated as your issue for inheritance of a remote ancestor.
Minary v. citizens fidelity bank
Testamentary capacity cannot be destroyed by testimony regarding a testator?s few isolated acts, idiosyncrasies, or mental irregularities unless they bear directly upon the testamentary act.
In re Wright's Estate
Alzhiemers does not equate to lack of capacity as long as they were of a clear mind when beneficiaries were chosen and the will was signed.
Wilson v. Lane
If a will is a product of an insane delusion, it will not be probated.
In re Strittmater?s estate
An objector can challenge capacity either through the Cunningham test or insane delusion test.
Breeden v. Stone
Undue influence is shown when such control was exercised over the testator that they substituted their will over the free will and agency of the testator.
Lipper v. Weslow
If a testator is prevented from executing a will to an intended beneficiary by the fraud, duress, or undue influence of a present beneficiary, it will go into a constructive trust for the intended beneficiary.
Latham v. Father Divine:
If a party who would have challenged a will, but was prevented from doing so by the fraudulent act of another may bring a claim for intentional interference with an expectancy.
Schilling v. Herrera:
Common law required strict compliance with Will?s act (two cases)
In re Groffman/ Steven v. Cardorph
A signature is whatever the testator intended to be their signature.
Taylor v. Holt
Swapped wills can sometimes, but not all the times, be corrected using the misdespriction doctrine.
The harmless error doctrine finds the clear intent of the testator if possible and uses it.
In re Estate of Hall:
Courts struggle with holographic wills, some are informal and some are difficult to establish if testamentary intent exists (two cases)
Kimmels Estate/ In re Estate of Kuralt
Revocations by a writing requires a new document that acts as a new will (not simply writing void on top of the original will)
Thompson v. Royall: