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Eddington v. Turner

Supreme Court of Delaware
155 A.L.R. 562 (1944)


Thomas Turner executed a will devising a life estate in certain real property to his sister, Sallie Turner (defendant). After executing his will, Thomas Turner entered into a purchase option agreement with Eddington (plaintiff) for a tract of land that included the parcel devised as a life estate to his sister. The option agreement required Eddington to exercise his option to purchase within 60 days. Thomas Turner died before the expiration of the 60 day option period. Eddington elected to exercise the purchase option after Thomas Turner’s death. Eddington filed suit demanding specific performance of the option agreement. The trial court granted Eddington’s demand for specific performance and held that Sallie Turner was entitled to a life estate in the amount of the proceeds proportional to the fraction of the larger tract represented by the parcel subject to life estate. The executors of the estate appealed. The executors argued that the estate’s interest in the property was an interest in personal property and therefore that the entire purchase price should pass to the estate, leaving Sallie Turner with no interest in either the real property or the sale proceeds.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rodney, J.)

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