Duckwall v. Lease

106 Ind. App. 664, 20 N.E.2d 204 (1939)

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Duckwall v. Lease

Indiana Court of Appeals
106 Ind. App. 664, 20 N.E.2d 204 (1939)

Facts

Ella Stevenson (Mrs. Stevenson) was domiciled in Ohio and owned a parcel of land in Indiana. In her will, Mrs. Stevenson left her husband, G. Curtin Stevenson (Mr. Stevenson) a life estate in the Indiana property. Mrs. Stevenson’s will directed that, after Mr. Stevenson’s death, the Indiana property was to be sold and the proceeds divided between Mrs. Stevenson’s brother and sister. Mrs. Stevenson’s brother and sister predeceased her. When Mrs. Stevenson died, Mr. Stevenson took possession of the Indiana property. Mr. Stevenson remarried and later died. In his will, he left $1,500 to his new wife and directed that the remainder of his estate be divided among his nieces and nephews. The heirs of Mrs. Stevenson’s brother (wife’s family) (plaintiffs) sued to partition the Indiana property. They argued that Ohio law applied to the matter and that, pursuant to Ohio law, at Mrs. Stevenson’s death, the Indiana property was equitably converted, causing the interests of her predeceased siblings to assume the character of personal property rather than lapsing. Thus, they argued, the proceeds from the sale of the property should be divided among the wife’s family. Mr. Stevenson’s devisees and legatees (husband’s family) filed a cross-complaint, arguing that Indiana law applied to the situation. The husband’s family argued that pursuant to Indiana law, Mrs. Stevenson’s devise to her predeceased siblings was deemed lapsed, causing the siblings’ interest in the Indiana property to pass to Mr. Stevenson and, upon his death, to the husband’s family. The trial court found in favor of the husband’s family. The wife’s family filed a motion for a new trial, which was overruled. The wife’s family appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Laymon, J.)

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