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Black v. Black
West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
171 W. Va. 307 (1982)
Jessie Black (plaintiff) was joint owner of a farm with her two siblings. In January 1950, the three siblings entered into a joint-survivorship agreement. They agreed that upon the death of any one of them, the surviving siblings would receive the decedent’s interest in the farm and in the personal property located on the farm. The siblings also executed a joint will in August 1969. The will contained the same survivorship language but added a provision stating that upon the death of all the siblings, the real and personal property “then remaining” would go to seven nieces and nephews (defendants). In July 1979, Jessie Black filed a complaint alleging that she had a fee-simple title to the farm and the personal property on it. The circuit court held that Jessie Black had a life estate in the farm and a life interest in the personal property, with the nieces and nephews holding a remainder interest in fee simple. Jessie Black appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (McHugh, J.)
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