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Estate of Dye

92 Cal. App. 4th 966 (2001)

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Estate of Dye

California Court of Appeal

92 Cal. App. 4th 966 (2001)

Facts

Haskell Dye had two biological sons with his first wife. After that marriage ended, Dye’s first wife remarried, and Dye’s two biological sons were legally adopted by their new stepfather. Dye remarried a woman named Eleanor. Eleanor already had a son, Scott (plaintiff), and Dye legally adopted Scott. Dye and Eleanor executed form wills leaving their entire estates to each other. Eleanor died first, and her estate passed to Dye. Dye passed away a few months later without changing his will. Scott filed a probate action to distribute Dye’s estate. Because Dye’s will did not have a valid beneficiary, his estate was distributed under the intestacy laws. One of Dye’s biological sons and a biological grandson (defendants) each filed a claim to part of Dye’s estate. The trial court found that the biological son and grandson were entitled to inherit from Dye under intestacy laws. Scott appealed, arguing that he had evidence that Dye had wanted to disinherit his biological sons and that it was unjust to distribute the estate to the very people Dye did not want to receive it.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Morrison, J.)

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