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Epting v. Mayer

South Carolina Court of Appeals
323 S.E.2d 797 (1984)


Facts

Mahalie Epting had four children, two daughters and two sons. Mahalie’s will left her real estate to her daughters to hold in fee simple absolute. The will provided that if one of the daughters predeceased Mahalie, the real estate would go to the surviving daughter. The will further provided that upon the death of both daughters—either before or after Mahalie’s death—the real estate would go to Mahalie’s sons. Later in the same provision, the will stated that if her sons should die before her daughters, the sons’ children would take the portion of the real estate that the sons were entitled to under the will. One of the daughters, Eula, died unmarried and without children. The two sons died leaving a combined eight children. At the time of Mahalie’s death, her daughter Chloe (plaintiff) was her sole living child. Chloe filed a petition for a declaratory ruling that she held Mahalie’s real estate in fee simple absolute. Chloe named her eight nieces and nephews as defendants. The nieces and nephews claimed that Chloe held only a life estate, and that they were entitled to the remainder interest that their fathers would have received had they been alive. The trial court found in favor of Chloe. The nieces and nephews appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Shaw, J.)

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