Monday, November 11, 2013

LaCroix v. Seneca case brief

LaCroix v. Seneca case brief summary
l99 A.2d 115 (1953)

Plaintiff niece appealed the judgment of the Superior Court in Windham County (Connecticut), which held that the residuary devise and bequest to defendant beneficiary under the codicil was void, but that there was no resulting intestacy as to that portion of the residue because the gift thereof under the will was valid.


The niece of the testatrix, who was left nothing, brought this action for a declaratory judgment as heir and next of kin. She challenged the validity of the will and codicil of her aunt, claiming that the failure of the codicil left the aunt intestate. The trial court disagreed.


  • On appeal, the court affirmed, holding that there was no room for doubt that the sole purpose of the testatrix in executing the codicil was, by making the very minor change in referring to her nephew, to eliminate any uncertainty as to his identity. 
  • Obviously, it was furthest from her intention to make any change in the disposition of her residuary estate. 
  • When the will and codicil were considered together, as they must be, to determine the intent of the testatrix, it was clear that her intention to revoke the will was conditioned upon the execution of a codicil which would be effective to continue the same disposition of her residuary estate. 
  • Therefore, when it developed that the gift under the codicil to the beneficiary was void, the conditional intention of the testatrix to revoke the will was rendered inoperative, and the gift to the beneficiary under the will continued in effect.

The judgment of the trial court that no intestacy resulted by virtue of a failed codicil was affirmed.

Suggested Study Aids For Wills, Trusts & Estate Law

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