Monday, November 11, 2013

Erickson v. Erickson case brief

Erickson v. Erickson case brief summary
716 A.2d 92 (1998)

Plaintiff daughter appealed the judgment of the Superior Court in the judicial district of New Haven (Connecticut), which rendered judgment admitting the decedent's will to probate despite Conn. Gen. Stat. § 45a-257(a) (1995). Defendant executrix cross-appealed the grant of the daughter's motion in limine to exclude certain extrinsic evidence of the decedent's intentions.


Decedent prepared a will two days before his marriage to the executrix and provided that the executrix receive the estate. Although Conn. Gen. Stat. § 45a-257(a) provided that a will was revoked by marriage where there was no provision for the marriage, and the decedent's will did not provide for the marriage, the probate court admitted the will to probate.


  • The court found that the will was improperly admitted because there was no language in the will providing for the contingency of the subsequent marriage. 
  • However, extrinsic evidence should have been admitted to establish the decedent's intent so that his will would be valid notwithstanding the subsequent marriage if a scrivener's error misled the decedent into executing a will on the belief that it would be valid despite the marriage. 
  • In order to rebut the presumption that the decedent did not intend for the will to survive his marriage, the executrix had to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the will did not substantially state the decedent's true intent and that the decedent intended for the will to survive the marriage.

The court reversed the decision admitting the decedent's will to probate, and the case was remanded for a new trial, in which extrinsic evidence of a scrivener's mistake would be admissible to establish the decedent's intent.

Suggested Study Aids For Wills, Trusts & Estate Law

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