When is a gift not a gift in a Texas will?

Robert Ray

In a recent case, the second paragraph of a will gave a piece of land to the testator‘s wife “to be hers absolutely forever.”

The third paragraph of the will gave the land to the testator‘s sons in the event of the simultaneous death of the testator and his wife or “upon the death of the survivor of us.”

The wife survived the testator, remarried and made a new will giving the land to her new husband. When the wife died, the sons contested the probate of her will on the basis that the third paragraph of the will only gave the wife the land until her death at which time it passed to the sons.

The court ruled for the beneficiaries of the wife’s will and against the sons. They said “the “Second” paragraph conveys Robert’s property to Mildred in clear and decisive language. The language of the “Third” paragraph, when read as a whole, provides for the contingency of simultaneous deaths and does not clearly and expressly limit the estate conveyed in the “Second” paragraph.” Therefore, the land belonged to the wife absolutely. 281 SW3d 457.

Copyright by Robert Ray a Texas inheritance attorney. The foregoing information is general in nature and does not apply to every fact situation. If you are concerned about inheritance laws, inheritance rights, have a family inheritance dispute, a property dispute or want information about contesting a will and need an inheritance lawyer, we can help. Please go to our main site www.texasinheritance.com and use the contact form to contact us today. We are Texas inheritance lawyers and would love to learn about your case and there is no fee for the initial consultation.


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The Author

Robert Ray

Robert Ray handles inheritance disputes of all kinds. He takes cases throughout Texas.
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