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Estate of Goick

Montana Supreme Court
909 P.2d 1165 (1996)


Michael and Barbara Goick were married and had three children together. Michael and Barbara filed for divorce. During a hearing before the court, Michael and Barbara reached an oral settlement agreement, but later refused to sign a written settlement agreement. The court never entered a final order of divorce. Michael then died, and the divorce proceedings were dismissed. Barbara (plaintiff) initiated a probate action and petitioned for appointment as personal representative, as Michael’s surviving spouse. Michael’s mother, brother, and sister (defendants) objected, arguing that Barbara was not Michael’s surviving spouse because Michael and Barbara’s divorce hearing purported to terminate their marital property rights. The district court granted summary judgment in Barbara’s favor, finding that she was Michael’s surviving spouse, and appointed her as personal representative of the estate. Michael’s mother, brother, and sister appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Erdmann, J.)

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