In re Estate of Kuralt
- T was born in NC in 1934
- In 1962, T married Petie
- In 1968, T met Patricia Elizabeth Shannon (S) and began a romance with her.
- Between 1970 and 1994, T hosted CBS News Sunday Morning
- Became known for his On the Road series, for which he used a motorhome
- T used 6 different motorhomes over the course on the stories
- In May 1989, T executed a holographic will that left all T’s interest in the Montana property to S
- T mailed a copy to S and executed it in NYC
- T retired in 1994
- In April of 2007, T deeded his interest in the part of the Montana land to S and guised is as a sale, the price of which he gave to her in advance.
- The plan was to do this for the remained of the property in Sept 1997
- In June 1997, T sent S a letter with 2 checks totaling $17,000, indicating he wished for her to inherit property should something happen to him.
- T died in July 1997
- 2 weeks prior T had written a letter to S assuring her she would inherit the property in Montana
- W was unaware of relationship prior to T’s death
- T’s formal will shows T’s beneficiaries as W and their 2 children
- Neither S nor her children are named in the formal will
- S attempted to probate holographic will.
- T’s estate(E) contested, arguing the writing was only a future intent to make a will
- TC granted partial summary judgment for E
- S appealed
- AC reversed and remanded
- TC now found for S
- E appealed
- Whether TC erred when it found that the letter constituted a holographic will
- When the 2nd will does not make a complete disposition of T’s estate, the second will is more in the nature of a codicil to the first will.
- E argues that DC failed to recognize the legal effect of the later will
- Court found that the later letters showed T intended for the later will not to have effect on the earlier letter.