Crawford v. Crawford
Maryland Court of Appeals
296 A.2d 388 (1972)
When Francis Crawford (Francis I) died, his will gave his wife, Jessie Ethel Crawford (plaintiff), the right to (1) use his property while she was a widow and (2) divide the property between the couple’s two sons, Francis J. Crawford (Francis II) and Francis A. Crawford (Francis III). Later, Francis III died, leaving behind a wife and son (defendants). Jessie sued for a determination of everyone’s interests in Francis I’s property. The chancellor ruled that the will gave Jessie an estate durante viduitate, which meant that she could use the property while she was a widow, until she either died or remarried. According to the chancellor, the will also gave Jessie a special power of appointment to split Francis I’s property equally between the couple’s two sons, Francis II and Francis III, while she was alive or in her will. However, the chancellor determined that Francis I’s will did not specify a limitation over, i.e., what should happen to, the property if Jessie did not exercise her special power of appointment. Jessie appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Singley, J.)
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