Estate of Gibbs

The Facts

  • Ts died in 1960
  • Ts each made the same bequest to Robert J. Krause
  • However, they had intended to leave it to Robert W. Krause

Procedural History

  • Wills was probated
  • TC awarded both bequests to Robert W


The Issue

Whether the will can be corrected

The Rule

  • The traditional rule is that, even in the case of a demonstrable mistake, wills must not be reformed and extrinsic evidence is not admissible unless there is an ambiguity.
  • Where details of identification are involved, courts should receive evidence tending

The Holding / Disposition

Yes, affirmed

Court’s Reasoning

  • Court acknowledges traditional rule and notes that there was no ambiguity.
  • However, since details of identification are highly susceptible to mistake, courts should receive evidence tending to show that a mistake has been made and disregard he details

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