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Blocker v. Blocker
Florida Supreme Court
137 So. 249 (1931)
John Blocker Sr., decedent, was survived by his wife, Nina Blocker (defendant), his two adult children, Marguerite and John Jr., and his three grandchildren, Marguerite Ann (Ann) (plaintiff), Sallie (plaintiff), and Samuel. Under John Sr.’s will, his property was devised as follows: (1) Nina received one-third of the estate outright; (2) Samuel and John Jr. each received life interests in a portion of the estate with remainders to their respective children; and (3) the residuary estate passed to Marguerite for life with the remainder to her children. The reversionary interest for the assets in John Sr.’s estate was not bequeathed under the will and therefore passed to John Jr. and Marguerite as John Sr.’s intestate heirs-at-law. John Sr.’s estate included a parcel of vacant land. John Jr. conveyed his life interest in his portion of that vacant land to a third party, William Hill. John Jr. and Marguerite then conveyed the associated reversionary interest for that portion of the vacant land to Hill, which terminated the life estate on that piece of land, and all associated contingent remainder interests, by merging the life estate and reversionary estate in a third party. Because Hill then owned a portion of the vacant land in fee simple, ownership of the entire parcel of land had to be partitioned. Ann and Sallie challenged, arguing that (1) the vacant land was ineligible for partitioning because it was subject to the contingent interest of beneficiaries not yet born; and (2) the conveyance to Hill of the life tenancy and reversionary interest should not merge into a fee simple because merger would frustrate the testator’s intent. The trial court held that the life estate had merged into a fee simple, destroying the contingent interests. Ann and Sallie appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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