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Cain v. Dunn
Mississippi Supreme Court
241 So. 2d 650 (1970)
William Harreld’s will gave half of his estate to his wife and equal shares of the other half to Harreld’s son and “each of my grandchildren.” The will then listed the names of the five grandchildren who were alive (plaintiffs) when Harreld wrote the will. The will also provided that if Harreld’s son or any of his grandchildren died before Harreld, that person’s share would be distributed equally among the survivors. After Harreld executed this will, a sixth grandchild, Lee Ann (defendant), was born. Harreld was close to all his grandchildren, including Lee Ann. However, Harreld died without amending his will. Under the existing will, it was unclear whether half of Harreld’s estate should be divided among only Harreld’s son and the five named grandchildren, or whether Lee Ann should be included in this distribution. The probate court ruled that Harreld’s gift was a class gift to his son and all his grandchildren and, therefore, that Lee Ann should receive an equal portion. The case was appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ethridge, C.J.)
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