Monday, November 11, 2013

Harrison v. Bird case brief

Harrison v. Bird case brief summary
621 So. 2d 972 (1993)

Appellant will proponent sought review of a judgment of the Circuit Court of Montgomery County (Alabama), which held that the decedent's estate was to have been administered as an intestate estate and which confirmed the letters of administration granted by the probate court to appellee administratrix.


The deceased executed a will in which she named the will proponent as the main beneficiary and executor. The decedent's attorney retained the original will and the will proponent had a copy. Prior to her death, the decedent called her attorney and advised him that she wanted to revoke her will. The attorney, in the presence of a witness, tore the will into four pieces. The attorney wrote the decedent a letter informing the decedent that he had revoked the will and that he was enclosing the pieces of the will. Following her death, the probate court named the administratrix to administer the estate. The will proponent filed a document purporting to the decedent's will. The case was removed to the circuit court where the will was adjudged revoked and the administratrix was confirmed to administer the estate.


  • The court affirmed the judgment and held that, while the attorney did not lawfully revoke the will when he destroyed the will without the presence of the decedent, a rebuttable presumption that the decedent had revoked her will arose upon the failure to find the will among the decedent's possessions, which the will proponent failed to overcome.

The court affirmed the circuit court's finding that the decedent had died intestate and that the administratrix was the proper person to have administered the decedent's estate.

Suggested Study Aids For Wills, Trusts & Estate Law

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