Brundige v. Alexander

547 S.W.2d 232 (1976)

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Brundige v. Alexander

Tennessee Supreme Court
547 S.W.2d 232 (1976)

Facts

Betty Condra and her husband, R.W., died in an accident on June 22, 1974. There was no evidence of the sequence of their deaths. Betty’s will contained a residuary clause giving the residue of her estate to R.W. The will did not state to whom the residuary would go if Betty and R.W. died at the same time. Betty did not have children, but R.W. had children from a prior marriage (collectively, R.W.’s children) (plaintiffs). Harold T. Brundige (plaintiff), as executor of Betty’s estate, and R.W.’s children filed suit to establish that Betty’s residuary estate should pass to R.W.’s children pursuant to the antilapse statute. Betty’s heirs according to intestate laws, including Addie Ford Alexander (collectively, Betty’s heirs) (defendants), argued that the antilapse statute should not apply because there was no evidence that Betty survived R.W. Betty’s heirs further argued that the Uniform Simultaneous Death Act (the act) did not require a presumption that Betty had survived R.W. Betty and R.W. also owned savings certificates as tenants by the entirety. Betty’s heirs argued that the savings certificates were not subject to the antilapse statute because they were jointly owned property not subject to Betty’s will. The trial court agreed with Betty’s heirs, ordering that Betty’s residuary estate be distributed according to intestate succession rather than to R.W.’s children, and that a one-half interest in the savings certificates also pass to Betty’s heirs according to intestate succession. R.W.’s children and Brundige appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brock, J.)

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