Monday, November 11, 2013

Johnson v. Johnson case brief

Johnson v. Johnson case brief summary
279 P.2d 928 (1954)

Plaintiff in error proponents challenged a judgment of the District Court of Oklahoma County (Oklahoma), which affirmed the county court's judgment denying probate to an instrument purporting to be the last will and testament of the testator.


The testator left a will that contained three typewritten paragraphs. At the bottom of the sheet of paper was a handwritten provision giving his brother only a nominal amount. The county court denied its admission to probate and the district court, after a de novo trial, affirmed that decision.


  • The court reversed the decision. 
  • It noted that there was no question that the typewritten instrument was not signed, dated, or attested, that the testator intended that instrument to be his will, and that it made a complete disposition of his estate. 
  • There also was no question that the handwritten words were wholly in the testator's handwriting and were testamentary in character. 
  • The court found that the handwritten portion was a valid holographic codicil and that it incorporated the prior will by reference and republished and validated the prior will as of the date of the codicil giving effect to the testator's intention.

The court reversed the decision of the district court, affirming the county court's denial of probate to an instrument purporting to be the testator's last will and testament, and remanded the matter with directions to enter the will for probate.

Suggested Study Aids For Wills, Trusts & Estate Law

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