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Dow v. Atwood
Maine Supreme Judicial Court
260 A.2d 437 (1969)
When Harold Atwood died, his will gave his wife, Leonora Atwood, a life estate in all of Harold’s property. Harold’s will also gave Leonora a special power of appointment to give Harold’s property to his brother, Alfred Atwood, at the end of Leonora’s life estate, through her own will. As directed, Leonora created a will that exercised her special power of appointment and gave Alfred all of Harold’s property at Leonora’s death. However, Alfred died before Leonora, and the special power of appointment did not allow Leonora to choose any other appointee for Harold’s property. Harold’s heirs (plaintiffs) sued to determine who would own Harold’s property after Leonora died, arguing that they had a remainder interest that would be effective after Leonora’s life estate ended. Alfred’s heirs (defendants) opposed this claim, contending that the antilapse statute would apply to the lapsed appointment at Leonora’s death and cause the property to pass from Alfred to them. The case ended up before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Williamson, C.J.)
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