Connecticut Courts Reinforce Strict Adherence to Will Provisions
In the case of Hartford-Connecticut Trust Co., v. Lawrence, an executor and trustee brought an action against the husband of a deceased niece and a surviving niece of the decedent to determine the construction of the will of the testatrix and the true entitlement of each heir. The word "heirs" has been so often used and construed as including all who would inherit either real or personal estate, that there is no longer any good reason for insisting upon its technical significance, except where the intention to use it in that sense is apparent.
The decedent made and executed her will disposing of both real and personal property, naming the executor as sole executor and trustee and providing that if either niece died before her, the heirs of the deceased niece would receive the niece's share. The court found that there was nothing to be found in the will indicating an intent to give either niece, in any contingency, more than one half the remainder. There was, therefore, some presumption that she intended that the law should have settled the matter. That presumption was strengthened by the facts that she had an opportunity to change her will after one or more of the legatees had died, and failed to do so. The court saw nothing which permitted it to vary the general rule of construction. The husband was the sole heir of a beneficiary under the provisions of the will of the testatrix and the he was the owner of the vested remainder under the provisions of the will.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to a probate law attorney about a will, trust, or estate matter, please contact the experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.
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Source: Hartford-Connecticut Trust Co. v. Lawrence, 106 Conn. 178, 138 A. 159, 1927 Conn. LEXIS 95 (Conn. 1927)
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