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Connecticut Junior Republic v. Sharon Hospital
Connecticut Supreme Court
448 A.2d 190 (1982)
In 1960, Richards Emerson executed a will leaving the remainder of his estate in trust to seven named charities (1960 charities) (defendants). In 1969, Emerson executed a codicil replacing the 1960 charities with a new group of 11 charities (1969 charities) (plaintiffs). In 1975, Emerson requested that a second codicil be drafted that would merely change a classification of the trust for tax purposes. Emerson’s lawyer made the change but also mistakenly reinserted the 1960 charities into the trust. Emerson did not ask for this reinsertion and signed the codicil without knowing about the change in beneficiaries. The 1969 charities argued that the beneficiary list in the second codicil was a mistake and did not reflect Emerson’s intent and that, as a result, the second codicil should not be admitted to probate. The probate court admitted the second codicil after finding that extrinsic evidence of the attorney’s mistake was not admissible. The superior court affirmed. The 1969 charities appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Healey, J.)
Dissent (Peters, J.)
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