Quimbee logo with url
From our private database of 14,300+ case briefs...

Estate of Carroll

Missouri Court of Appeals
746 S.W.2d 736 (1989)


Facts

Dortha and Archie Caroll had no children. In separate wills drafted by an attorney, each spouse bequeathed his or her estate to the other. Both wills provided further that in the event one spouse predeceased the other, the estate of the longer-living spouse would go to “my nieces and nephews.” Dortha’s brothers and sisters had eight children; Archie’s brothers and sisters had 12. Dortha died before Archie. After Archie’s death, the children of Dortha’s brothers and sisters (plaintiffs) filed for a declaration that they were entitled to share in Archie’s estate. The plaintiffs sought to introduce extrinsic evidence that: (1) Archie and Dortha did not distinguish between those nieces and nephews by consanguinity and those by affinity, (2) Archie had stated an intention to benefit the children of his wife’s siblings, and (3) both families maintained a close relationship. The trial court refused to consider the extrinsic evidence on the ground that the phrase “my nieces and nephews” lacked ambiguity. The court then declared that “my nieces and nephews” included only the children of Archie’s brothers and sisters. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Greene, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 256,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,300 briefs, keyed to 191 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.