Monday, November 11, 2013

Estate of Alburn case brief

Estate of Alburn case brief summary
118 N.W.2d 919 (1963)

Appellant, a sister of the decedent who had petitioned for appointment of an administrator of the estate alleging that deceased had died intestate, challenged a judgment of the county trial court (Wisconsin) that found in favor of respondents who were proponents of a will executed by decedent in Kankakee (Kankakee Will). Respondents who were proponents of another will executed by decedent in Milwaukee (Milwaukee Will) did not appeal.


The trial court had found that the decedent had first executed the Milwaukee will. Later she executed the Kankakee will. Before her death she tore up the Kankakee will mistakenly believing that by doing so she would revive the Milwaukee will. Decedent never executed another will prior to her death. The appellant argued that there was insufficient evidence to support the trial court's conclusions.


  • On review, the court affirmed the trial court's judgment. 
  • The court held that there was uncontroverted testimony from the decedent's sister-in-law that decedent had told her she intended the Milwaukee will to stand, that the testatrix had indicated that she did not wish to die intestate, that she took no steps after destroying the Kankakee will to make another will, and that both wills had similar provisions not providing for next-of-kin. 
  • On this basis it was not against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence that testatrix destroyed the Kankakee will in the mistaken belief that she was reviving the Milwaukee will. 
  • Thus, the doctrine of dependent relative revocation applied to support the probate of the Kankakee will.

The court affirmed the trial court's judgment in favor of respondents and for probate of the Kankakee will.

Suggested Study Aids For Wills, Trusts & Estate Law

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